North Yorkshire County Council has welcomed a Government decision this week which will enable its young people in care to continue to achieve at university and in their training for work.
The government has agreed funding nationally for a scheme called “Staying Put” which enables young people to remain with their foster families until the age of 21.
£40m has been pledged over the next three years to fund the plan.
It will be introduced during the third reading of the Children and Families Bill next year.
North Yorkshire was one of the first pilot authorities to introduce the scheme in 2008.
Its evidence about the success of the scheme was fed through to Government ministers.
A total of 23 care leavers in North Yorkshire are now participating in higher education.
One care leaver is currently studying for a postgraduate degree at Oxford University and 22 are students at other universities and higher education establishments.
County councillor Tony Hall, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services said: “The government’s decision means we can continue with this priority scheme which gives support to our most vulnerable young people by enabling them to stay with their foster families at a critical time in their lives.
“This gives them continuity and stability so they have the chance to achieve to the best of their ability and go on to acquire the qualifications and skills that will help towards a fulfilling future.”
The county council currently supports 247 care leavers and 21 of these remain with foster families beyond the age of 18. Young people leaving care who are in education or training are also entitled to support from North Yorkshire’s leaving care team and a “virtual school” until they are aged 25.