• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Scottish Government launches consultation on one-off care leaver payment

ByJack Davies

Nov 10, 2023
Humza Yousaf and a group of young people standing

A consultation on a one-off payment of £2,000 to young people leaving care was launched by the Scottish Government last Friday.

The proposed payment aims to support young care leavers transitioning from the care system to the independence of adulthood. Through the consultation, the payment will be co-designed with care experienced people to ensure that it meets their needs.

The consultation will run until 26 January 2024 and cover the payment’s purpose, eligibility, and application support.

First Minister Humza Yousaf announced the one-off payment during Care Experienced Week last month. 

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During an event at the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF) in Glasgow, Yousaf said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to Keeping the Promise by 2030 to all of our children and young people.”

“This includes making sure that all young people are given the support they need to transition from care into adulthood and more independent living.”

“Care-experienced people are over one and a half times more likely to experience financial difficulties and have more than double the chance of experiencing homelessness, mainly before age 30.”

“It is important we provide the right support at the right time for our care experienced young people – and the Care Leaver Payment will provide much needed financial support at such an important moment in their lives.”

The Scottish Government committed to the Promise in 2020 after an Independent Care Review outlined the new framework for Scotland’s “broken” care system, which aims to recentre it on young care experienced people.

The review highlighted that care-leavers are often ill-prepared for transitioning to adulthood and risk getting involved in the criminal justice system.

Despite recent leaks showing that only 16 councils have progress indicators, Yousaf has made fulfilling the Promise a key priority and those in the care sector have welcomed the proposed payment. 

The National Union of Students Scotland (NUSS) took to X, formerly know as Twitter, to say that:

“[The] proposed Care Leaver Payment is welcome, and we’re clear that care experienced students must be included.”

“Our data shows care experienced students to be among the worst affected by poverty.”

Aimee Thorpe, a care experienced young adult attending the announcement, commented to STAF that:

“It was fantastic to have Humza along to the STAF office today to chat with us.

“Humza eagerly listened and is committed to driving positive, co-designed change. It felt [like] a very positive space to be in and I am very hopeful for the future!”

First Minister visits Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF) offices in Glasgow by Scottish Government is licensed by CC BY 2.0 DEED