The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation as it prepares to introduce a payment for young people moving on from care. It is proposed that the Care Leaver Payment will provide a one-off payment of £2,000 to young people leaving care.
Many care experienced young people do not have the same informal support network that other young people have during transition points in their lives. The intention is to help reduce some of the financial barriers faced while moving on from care and into adulthood and more independent living.
As the needs and experiences of care experienced people are varied and wide-ranging, the purpose of the consultation is to gather views on the proposed Care Leaver Payment.
The consultation contains questions on a range of issues, including:
In launching the consultation, the Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, Natalie Don MSP, said: “Co-designing the new payment with people who have experience of care and those who provide support to people with care experience will help us develop a payment which best meets the needs of our young people as they move on from care.
“We want to work with our delivery partners and those with lived experience of care to ensure we get this right.
“If you have experience of care, are a kinship or foster carer, work with young people in care, support people with care experience, or have a particular interest in this subject, I encourage you to respond to this consultation and I thank you in advance for taking the time to share your views.
“Your valuable insights will contribute to the development of a payment which has the potential to positively impact the experience of young people moving on from care in Scotland.”
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will remain open for responses until 26 January 2024.
You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date above. You do not need to respond to every question.
There will be four engagement sessions during December and January to provide more information on the Care Leaver Payment consultation. The sessions will take place on Microsoft Teams, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions of the Care Leaver Payment Team.
Visit Eventbrite to book one of the engagement sessions taking place on:
Establishing the payment is part of ‘Keeping the Promise’, a commitment by the Scottish Government to supporting all of Scotland’s children and young people to grow up loved, safe and respected so they can reach their full potential. This includes making sure that all care experienced children and young people are provided with person-centred support to assist positive transitions from care to adulthood and more independent living.
This payment has been referred to as the ‘Care Experience Grant’ in previous Programme for Government commitments. It is proposed that people leaving care from the age of 16 will be eligible to apply for the payment if they are looked after by a local authority in Scotland at the point of moving on from care.
The proposed Care Leaver Payment will form part of a broader package of support which includes, but is not limited to, access to Continuing Care and Aftercare support for care leavers, the Care Experience Bursary and Council Tax Exemption for care leavers.
Who Cares? Scotland recently launched a campaign, Lifelong Rights for Care Experienced People, to coincide with Care Experienced Week 2023. They are calling for extra protection for care experienced people of all ages to access their rights, and lifelong advocacy for every care experienced person in Scotland who needs it.
For more information on the consultation or the payment, please email CareLeaverPayment@gov.scot