You may be able to stay living with your foster carers after you turn 18. This is called 'staying put'.
If everyone agrees and it's the right option for you, you can stay there until you are 21.
If you choose the 'staying put' option you would no longer be classed as a child in foster care. You would be classed as a lodger and your foster carer would become your host.
This means that you'll be renting a room from them and you'll be expected to pay towards your keep. They will get less money as a host than a foster carer.
They will support you to develop your independent living skills further.
You'll continue to get the extra care and support you may need before moving into independent living.
This can be a nice way of staying part of the family and making sure you are confident in taking your next step towards independence.
Other housing options
Your independent reviewing officer (IRO) and social worker will discuss the staying put option with you during your Child in Care reviews before you turn 18.
If you or your foster carer decide not to choose staying put as an option, your social worker will support you to look at other housing options.
They will look at the Joint Housing Protocol and consider private rental options.
If you choose the staying put option, you'll be expected to pay towards the cost of food, household items and utilities.
If applicable, you can use your Universal Credit payments for this. Your housing benefit will be paid directly to your host.
Depending on your circumstances you'll be able to claim Universal Credit when you turn 18. Your social worker will help you with this six weeks before your 18th birthday.
Reviewing the arrangement
The staying put arrangement should be reviewed every six weeks as part of your pathway plan.
The pathway plan will make sure:
- your targets are met
- you are gaining independent living skills.
It will review what is working well and any problems you may have.
More about your pathway plan.