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‘ When I’m Ready’ & Higher Education: Policy, Practice and Implementation Einir Evans & Scott McKenzie; Cardiff University & Maria Boffey; The Fostering.

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Presentation on theme: "‘ When I’m Ready’ & Higher Education: Policy, Practice and Implementation Einir Evans & Scott McKenzie; Cardiff University & Maria Boffey; The Fostering."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘ When I’m Ready’ & Higher Education: Policy, Practice and Implementation Einir Evans & Scott McKenzie; Cardiff University & Maria Boffey; The Fostering Network

2 Only 7% of 19 year old care leavers go on to University compared to 43% of the general population.

3 Can WIR Placements be kept open if the young person is going to university?

4 Where a young person in a ‘When I am Ready’ arrangement goes away to university or college, they should be able to return to the carer’s home during the vacations. If the intention is that the young person returns home during the holidays, consideration should be given to keeping the ‘When I’m Ready’ arrangement open – i.e. going away to university or college during term time will not terminate the arrangement. Para 12.7 WIR Guidance

5 What are the financial implications for WIR carers?

6 ‘…even a young person who’s away 30 to 35 weeks of a year at university, we’re obviously supporting them whilst they are at university, but we’re supporting their care through the payment of a retainer...we’re investing very heavily in giving the conditions which allow carers to make a decision to commit to a young person and without suffering too much of a financial loss’

7 WIR & HE- Key Considerations Foster carers must understand the implications of changes to their financial arrangements if they continue to care for a young person under a WIR arrangement. Ensure that you explain the effect it will have on the carer’s (former foster carer) financial support. Financial support will still be available but will be different to what the carer received as a foster carer and may change if the young person goes to university. Provide training for the carer. Consider how you might monitor the placement. It is not governed by fostering regulations as the young person leaves care at 18. How might this work is the young person is away at university?

8 Make it clear that WIR could be a viable option if young people go on to University. Education should be promoted and encouraged throughout the Pathway Plan. Universities offer a wide range of support packages to care leavers and not just those in a WIR arrangement. Make sure you are aware of what support is available to enable both the young person and carer make informed choices. WIR & HE- Key Considerations (cont.)

9 Pathway Planning

10 15161718 18 - 21 Start pathway planning: early discussions about WIR WIR meeting WIR Living Together Agreement WIR Starts Pathway Planning Meetings Raising aspiration events: e.g. Confident Futures GSCE Year University needs to be in Pathway Plan Lower 6 th : start thinking of options: Start attending Opendays Upper 6 th : Apply through UCAS Opendays Attend University Pathway Planning Meetings 21 - 25 Attend university ‘ When I am Ready’ & HE Timeline “When I am Ready” Pathway Age The Pathway to University: Choices and Support

11 15 (Year 10/11) Start pathway planning: early discussions about WIR; Discussions not only with the young person but also foster carer: is it a realistic option? If not, what are the other options? Planning is the key Including HE in the Pathway Plan as early as possible: resources can be allocated Raising aspiration events: e.g. Cardiff University Confident Futures Mentoring and Summer School

12 16 (Year 11) WIR meeting to be held with the young person, foster carer, social worker, personal adviser etc. GSCE Year: Grades can make a difference to University options University needs to be in Pathway Plan Cardiff University Activities: Confident Futures: GCSE revision activities

13 17 (Year 12) WIR Living Together Agreement starts to be completed: Clarifies rules and other important matters Lower 6 th : start thinking of university options. Step Up Cardiff University events…. Attending Open days

14 Open Days Help them prepare; read the prospectuses and university website, before attending Think of questions the young people and you might have Attend Open days with them so you can help them ask these questions Try and make contact with the Care Leaver Co-ordinator beforehand so you can meet on the day.

15 18 WIR Starts. Pathway Plan reviewed every 6 months Upper 6 th : UCAS application Get in contact with the Care leaver Co-ordinator at the university Apply for Student Finance (might have to use some of this to contribute to WIR )

16 18-21 WIR to continue: Studying at a local university? Returning to the WIR arrangement during holidays? Pathway Plan updated every 6 months Attend university: Intention is for the WIR carer to continue to provide support Check what support is also available at the university

17 Support at Cardiff University £3,000 Care Leaver Bursary 52 week accommodation Dedicated point of contact to provide support Guarantor Scheme Priority for hardship funding Employability support: GO Wales

18 21 -25 It is possible for WIR to continue after 21 if: the young person completes their agreed programme of education or training after their 21 st birthday (provided they have been continuously living in the arrangement since their 18 th birthday Pathway Plan regularly updated Ongoing support to complete their course There are longer courses: Languages, Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture

19 Considerations when WIR is not in place Care Leavers will still need support if in full- time Higher Education up until their 25 th Birthday Pathway Plans will still need to be maintained if in full-time HE until their 25 th birthday LA still have a duty to ensure care leavers have accommodation during university holidays

20 Higher Education Bursary Section 116 of the Social Services & Well-being Act (Wales) 2014 replaces section 23c of the Children Act 1989, however the duty still remains that LAs must provide a bursary to care leavers going to University. The guidance will be the same: minimum £2,000.

21 Key Points When planning your local WIR schemes make it clear what options are available if they go to university, to both the young person and foster carer Use Higher Education Institutions to help you with Pathway Planning Foster carers: don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions on behalf of young people.

22 Other sources of Support

23 Einir Evans 029 2087 4787 Scott McKenzie 029 2087 0324 Maria Boffey 029 2044 0940

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