When a young person reaches the age of 18, they can no longer be legally considered "looked-after". Foster carers caring for older young people play an important part in ensuring that young people are prepared for the move to independence or by continuing to support them after the age of 18 through supported lodgings and other schemes. Young people are staying with their parents for longer than ever before and we believe that no young person should be made to leave their foster family before they are ready to. Visit our Supported Lodgings page to see a range of free resources on providing supported lodgings (resources were produced by a project run in England).
Arrangements for young people after the age of 18 do vary according to where you live in the UK and it is important that you are aware of the guidance and policies that apply to the young people that you care for. It is also important that you know about the changes to the financial arrangements if you are caring for a young person after they have turned 18.
Some young people prefer to move to independent living and foster carers play an important role in supporting young people as they begin this transition.
Members of the Fostering Network log in here to see all available information and resources on leaving care, and access to peer to peer support in our online community.