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Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
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6.10 Staying Put


A Staying Put arrangement is where a young person who has been living in foster care  remains in the former foster home after the age of 18.


Leaving Care and Transition Procedure


Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers

Staying Put - Arrangements for Care Leavers Aged 18 and Above to Stay on With Their Former Foster Carers – Government Guidance issued by the DfE, DWP and HMRC (2013)

Staying Put: Good Practice Guide

Staying Put: Overview

Extended Local Offer for Care Leavers


The chapter was updated throughout in May 2021 and should be re-read. An Overview of Staying Put was added to the Relevant Guidance.


  1. Introduction
  2. Planning
  3. Legal Status and Safeguarding
  4. Support for Foster Carers
  5. Financial Implications
  6. Interface with Adults Services
  7. Ending of Staying Put Arrangements

1. Introduction

A Staying Put arrangement is where a Former Relevant child, after ceasing to be Looked After, remains in the former foster home where they were placed immediately before they ceased to be Looked After, beyond the age of 18.

It is the duty of the local authority:

  • To monitor the Staying Put arrangement; and
  • To provide advice, assistance and support to the Former Relevant child and the former foster parent with a view to maintaining the Staying Put arrangement (this must include financial support), until the child reaches the age of 21 (unless the local authority consider that the Staying Put arrangement is not consistent with the child's welfare).

Under the Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010, Planning Transition into Adulthood for Care Leavers Guidance and Government Guidance Staying Put - Arrangements for Care Leavers Aged 18 and Above to Stay on With Their Former Foster Carers (2013), the Local Authority must provide information about extending foster placements post-18.

The intention of Staying Put arrangements is to ensure that young people can remain with their former foster carers until they are prepared for adulthood, can experience a transition akin to their peers, avoid social exclusion and be more likely to avert a subsequent housing and tenancy breakdown.

(Note that the term 'arrangement' should be used rather than 'placement' - the term 'placement' denotes a situation where the local authority arranged and placed the child with a foster carer. Once the child reaches the age of eighteen and legal adulthood, the local authority is no longer making a placement, but facilitating a Staying Put arrangement for the young person.)

Consideration will need to be given to the impact on foster carers' approval and their terms of approval, including the numbers approved for, and whether this number includes the Staying Put young person.

Young people living with foster carers supported by independent providers should be treated in the same way as those young people living with local authority in-house foster carers when consideration is given to a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement.

If a young person feels that his/her wish to remain with their former foster carer has not been properly considered by the local authority, or they are unhappy with the way in which the local authority has acted, they may wish to speak to their Independent Reviewing Officer before they turn 18, and request a review of their Pathway Plan. The young person should be told of their right to use their local authority’s complaints procedure to voice their concerns, and of their right to have an Independent Advocate.

Note: Where a Staying Put arrangement is in place, the local authority, where appropriate, may consider delegating part of the Personal Adviser function to the foster carer (see Leaving Care and Transition Procedure, Personal Advisers).

This Policy should be read alongside the Staying Put Overview. Policies and Procedures of other organisations may be subject to change, beyond the control of Nottingham Leaving Care Service.

2. Planning

Discussion should start with the young person and foster carer regarding the option of staying put as early as possible, ideally before the young person reaches the age of 16.

If this has not already been done, the first Looked After Review following his or her 16th birthday should consider whether a Staying Put arrangement should be an option. This will entail assessing the implications for both the young person and the foster carer.

When carrying out an assessment of an Eligible child's needs, the local authority must determine whether it would be appropriate to provide advice, assistance and support to facilitate a Staying Put arrangement. Where they determine that it would be appropriate, and where the child and the local authority foster parent wish to make a Staying Put arrangement, then the local authority must provide such advice, assistance and support to facilitate a Staying Put arrangement.

Carers should be having conversations with young people about what they can reasonably expect of each other post 18 from an early stage. Carers can consider a ‘Living Together Agreement’, a written set of standards and expectations that make clear, for example staying out overnight, friends visiting. Information about Living Together Agreements can be provided.

The young person’s Pathway Plan should cover key areas and arrangements, such as:

  • Preparation for adulthood and independence tasks;
  • Finance, including young people having credit cards, loan agreements and mobile phone contracts registered at the address;
  • Income and benefit claims;
  • Friends and partners visiting and staying at the address;
  • Staying away for nights/weekends and informing carers of movements;
  • Education, training and employment activities;
  • Health arrangements;
  • Move-on arrangements;
  • Issues related to younger foster care children in the placement, i.e. safeguarding, being a positive role model and time-keeping.

It should be assessed from the outset how the arrangement will help the young person develop the skills required for independent living once they move on. They should be supported to continue to develop a range of skills including:

  • Relationships - getting on with neighbours; understanding acceptable behaviour; when and how to communicate with relevant professionals;
  • Emotional Resilience - managing isolation and where to go for support. Building self-esteem;
  • Finance and budgeting - opening a bank account, safe borrowing and managing debt, understanding basic financial products, benefits and welfare reform; budgeting for priority bills, household appliances and everyday shopping on a budget;
  • Cooking - cooking healthily and on a budget; understanding nutrition and its impact on overall health;
  • Managing a home - washing and ironing, cleaning, basic DIY, operating appliances and what is allowed within a tenancy; and
  • Applying for jobs - understanding strengths and areas for personal development; developing job skills, understanding job/volunteering pathways and support available; understanding bursaries and other financial support; where to go for advice; understanding the impact of work on benefits.

3. Legal Status and Safeguarding

Following the young person's 18th birthday, the legal basis on which they occupy the property (former foster home) changes (the legal term is that the young person becomes an 'excluded licensee' lodging in the home). The carer will then technically be deemed the young person’s landlord/landlady.

The associated change from foster child to adult member of the household, and for the carer from foster carer to Staying Put Host, (technically the young person’s landlord,) should be carefully and sensitively planned. Both young people and the carer/s need to understand the nature of the arrangement, and that the positive aspects are not diminished by the new legal and financial arrangements and terminology.

While Fostering Regulations will no longer legally apply to these arrangements, key standards should continue to govern the expectations of the placement when the young person reaches 18.
  • There is a system for reviewing and approving the Staying Put arrangement and carer/s to ensure that the arrangement complies with local authority expectations;
  • The Host is responsible for Health and safety requirements (as a minimum this should comply with landlord and licensee/tenant requirements).

In circumstances where it is clear that the carer will not be fostering any further children, it may be deemed appropriate to terminate their approval as a foster carer. In situations where it is possible that they may foster again in the future, it would be inappropriate to terminate their approval, given the length of time that re-approval would take. Where a foster carer’s approval is terminated, it will be necessary to ensure that the Staying Put arrangement continues to meet appropriate standards.

Where Foster Children are Living in the Staying Put Arrangement

Where fostered children are living in the household, the checks and requirements associated with fostering legislation will apply and will provide a framework for safeguarding and checking arrangements for the whole household.

In these situations the carer must remain an approved foster carer and the Fostering Services (England) Regulations and Guidance will apply with the consequential requirements of supervision, review and safeguarding. Whilst the fostering legislation will primarily apply to the placements of the fostered children, it does ensure that a system of approval, checking and supervision is applied to the whole household.

Safeguarding arrangements will need to be sufficient, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks on over 18 year olds and issues relating to fostered children in households. Where foster children are in placement, the foster carers will need to be returned to the fostering panel due to a change in circumstances as the child/young person Staying Put will have reached adulthood and become an adult member of the fostering household. As such, they will require a valid Disclosure and Barring Service check. To ensure that the check (and possible subsequent risk assessment) is completed by the child/young person’s eighteenth birthday the process will need to commence in sufficient time.

4. Support for Foster Carers

The Personal Advisor is available for support or guidance, but their focus is on working with the young person. If the Host/s request specific training or support, the Personal Advisor can look to identify if this is available, or seek advice from relevant colleagues within Nottingham City Council or partners.

5. Financial Implications

Clear information will be provided to foster carers on the financial support from the local authority for Staying Put arrangements, in order to help Hosts plan well in advance whether they wish to participate in such arrangements.

It will be necessary to consider:

  • Any financial contributions from the young person from their wages, salary, benefits or educational allowances. Depending on their circumstances, young people who remain in a Staying Put arrangement may be able to claim means tested benefits for their personal needs from their eighteenth birthday;
  • How the income tax, national insurance and welfare benefits situation of carers may be affected by post-18 payments. Where a young person continues to reside with their former foster carer after their eighteenth birthday on a non-commercial and familial basis, and the child was Looked After immediately prior to their eighteenth birthday, and the payments are made by the local authority to the carer under section 23C of the Children Act 1989 (continuing functions in respect of former relevant children), then the payments are disregarded in calculating the carers' entitlement to means tested benefits. When a commercial arrangement is made, (i.e. any element of the cost of the arrangement comes from a source other than section 23C), the non-section 23C element will be taken into account in the calculation of the carer's own means tested benefit claim;
  • Insurance issues including liability and household insurance: Staying Put Hosts should be informed they need to check their insurance and ensure adequate cover in situations where Staying Put young people may make an allegation against a foster child in placement, or against their Staying Put Host, or an allegation is made against the young person Staying Put.

The local authority will explain to the young person their full entitlements, including how they will provide the young person with their Setting Up Home Allowance once they move on from a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement and live independently.

5.1 Staying Put Allowances

Where a young person is living with Hosts full time, Hosts will receive £199.00 per week.

See the Staying Put Overview for Nottingham City Council’s offer for young people commuting to University, and how an Exception can apply for the first year of University or Armed Forces training.

If eligible, the young person can claim Housing Costs.

5.2 Additional Allowances

The additional allowances previously provided for children in care i.e. Holiday / Birthday / Christmas / Clothing allowances will end once the Staying Put arrangement is in place.

5.3 Financial Contributions From Young People

Young people, dependent on their income, will be expected to make a financial contribution to their Host; this is negotiable between the Host and young person. The Leaving Care Service will advise if appropriate on the above.

5.4 Hosts claiming their own Means Tested Benefits/Universal Credit


  • A young person continues to reside with their former foster carer after their eighteenth birthday on a non-commercial and familial basis; and
  • The child was Looked After immediately prior to their eighteenth birthday; and
  • The payments are made by the local authority to the carer under section 23C of the Children Act 1989 (continuing functions in respect of former relevant children);
  • Then the payments are disregarded in calculating the carers’ entitlement to means-tested benefits.

When a commercial arrangement is made, (i.e. any element of the cost of the arrangement comes from a source other than section 23C), the non-section 23C element will be taken into account in the calculation of the carer’s own means-tested benefit claim.

Additionally, the disregard is lost on the whole payment (section 23C and non-section 23C elements) when the young person first leaves the Staying Put arrangement, should the young person return to their former foster/Staying Put carer or move to another carer after their eighteenth birthday.

5.5 Young adults claiming Housing Costs within a Universal Credit claim

In Nottingham City, Housing Costs are paid within a Universal Credit claim. If the young person will be claiming Housing Costs, the Host is to provide a tenancy agreement and a rent book, which highlights a weekly / monthly financial contribution towards rent and any other agreed contribution the host expects the young person to make.

Young people who are care leavers are eligible to claim up to the one-bedroom self-contained Local Housing Allowance rate, so long as there is a genuine liability for rent to that level on a commercial basis. The method used to calculate the level of Housing Benefit will be the Local Housing Allowance. Advice from the Department for Work and Pensions is that as of June 2020, in Nottingham City, the maximum amount which can be claimed by a single care leaver with no children is £468. Potential Hosts should seek advice regarding the tax implications of receiving Housing Costs from a financial advisor or HMRC.

5.6 Council Tax and Council Tax Benefit

The position regarding Council Tax will vary depending on the circumstances of the Hosts, the number of adults in the household and the activity that the care leaver is engaged in. The payment of Council Tax will be discussed, as part of the financial implications of becoming a Host under Staying Put.

As Hosts would remain as the person(s) liable for the tax, the Care Leaver Exemption (see Local Offer for Care Leavers) does not apply.

If the young person is a Student, they can be disregarded for the purposes of deciding if a Single Person discount applies i.e. other than the young person there is only one resident. If there are two or more other residents, not counting the young person, then no discount is due.

5.7 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Income Tax and National Insurance

Where a Staying Put arrangement meets the HMRC qualifying criteria, (and where the young person continues to be cared for as a member of the Host’s family), the Income Tax and National Insurance rules that apply to foster carers are extended to Staying Put Hosts. Young people are required to share the Staying Put Host’s home and daily family life during the placement’ i.e. live as a ‘member of the family’. This system provides for foster carers and/or Staying Put Hosts to earn up to a given amount without paying Income Tax or Class 4 National Insurance Contributions on their caring income.

The Income Tax free allowance consists of two elements. Firstly, a fixed amount per foster care or Staying Put household. Secondly, an additional amount per week per child.

Where there is more than one paid Staying Put Host in the household, the allowance is shared equally by both Hosts.

The tax-free allowance only applies to the Staying Put Host’s income from this arrangement. If they have income from other sources, they will pay tax on that income in the normal manner.

Hosts should consult their local HMRC office or their financial advisor for guidance, based on their individual circumstances and liabilities.

For National Insurance Contributions purposes, in practice HMRC will treat the taxable profit from foster care or Staying Put as earnings from self-employment. Foster care and Staying Put is deemed as self-employment and as such, Hosts should register as self-employed. All self-employed people aged 16 or over, who are below State Pension age are liable, and must register to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.

6. Interface with Adults Services

The Staying Put framework is aimed at Former Relevant children who would benefit from an extended period with their former foster carer/s due to delayed maturity, vulnerability and/or in order to complete their education or training. Where young people have an on-going cognitive disability and meet the adult services Fair Access to Care Services criteria (Putting People First), foster placements should be converted to Adult Placements/Shared Lives Arrangements, when the child reaches their eighteenth birthday. This is important to ensure that both the young person and the carer have a formal regulatory and safeguarding framework that addresses their respective needs.

7. Ending of Staying Put Arrangements

Unless an Exception is applied (see Overview), the Staying Put arrangement extends until:

  • The young person leaves the Staying Put arrangement;

  • The young person reaches their twenty-first birthday;
  • (Where the Exceptions rule applies), the date that the 2nd academic year begins.

The local authority may wish to continue supporting a young person beyond age 21 to allow them to complete a course of education which began before they were 21.

The local authority will want to ensure that the end of a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement is not another ‘cliff edge’ for the young person but a gradual transition to independent living. Procedures should be agreed at the outset about how any wish by the Host/s to end the arrangement should be managed. The Personal Adviser should discuss with the young person their transition from such an arrangement to another type of accommodation and agree the type of support the young person will require. These arrangements should be developed alongside joint protocols with the housing authority, setting out how access to social housing and care leavers ‘priority need’ status will be discharged.

An excluded licensee can be asked to leave the property by the Staying Put Host, who must give ‘reasonable notice’. In extreme circumstances it may be considered reasonable for the carer to give very short notice and ask the young person to leave on the same day.