Calls for consistent and fair provision from the Party of Wales
The Party of Wales has taken action to provide access to foster care for post-18s across Wales. At present, many care leavers are forced into independent living before they are ready due to a patchy and inconsistent provision by local authorities, which often results in care leavers failing to reach their potential.
The Party of Wales AM Lindsay Whittle has proposed an amendment to the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Bill which is currently passing through the Assembly, which places a legal duty on the local authority to provide for care leavers who wish to stay with their foster carers for longer. The amendment calls for the point at which a young person leaves care to be directed by the wishes of the young person and foster carer, and not the wishes of the local authority.
The Party of Wales spokesperson on Social Services Lindsay Whittle said:
“When a young person first leaves care they are often at their most vulnerable. This is made even worse by the fact that some care leavers are forced into independent living before they are ready because of rules which make it difficult to stay with their foster carers.
“Plaid Cymru believes that this is wrong. The decision to leave care should be led by the wishes of the young person and foster family, and not the wishes of the local authority.
“At the moment this good practice happens in pockets across Wales, but we want to make it standard practice. This is why I have tabled an amendment to the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Bill to make it clear that a local authority has a duty to provide these arrangements for a young person if that is what they wish.
“Statistics show that care leavers often struggle to reach their potential. It is therefore clear that we should be doing much more to support them during this period of transition. All young people deserve every support necessary to help them reach their potential in life, regardless of their background, and Plaid Cymru is committed to delivering that.”