Merton trials age increase for children in care

The London Borough of Merton is working to ensure young people aren’t forced out of care at the age of 16 unless they are ready to live independently.

The Council is taking part in one of 11 pilot projects being implemented across the country.

They will determine how best to meet the needs of young people and give the 27 youths currently affected the chance to have a say on whether they stay in care until they are 18 or move into a hostel.

The Government has so far offered the London Borough of Merton more than £110,000 to fund the project that will run for three years.

Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Councillor Debbie Shears, says the Council aims to ensure young people leave care feeling confident and with the skills they need to make the transition to adulthood.

‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this pilot. We aim to ensure that the Leaving Care process is genuinely responsive to the needs of the young people in care in Merton, so that they only leave care when they are ready and prepared’.

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Notes to editors:
· The Government has set up the programme in response to its White Paper, Care Matters: Time for Change.

· More information is available at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk