Success! Together we have changed the law in Wales so that young people in foster care have the Chance to Stay

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Wednesday 19 March 2014 / Chance to stay Children in care Participation

This builds on the announcement we made in February that the law in Wales had changed. There were 3 crucial changes last night which mean the law has the force it needs to make a real difference for young people:

  1. Decisions about whether to stay will be led by the young person and their foster carer
  2. The law assumes young people are able to stay, unless it is not safe for them to do so
  3. Local authorities will have to provide financial and other support for young people to stay

This incredible news is the result of everyone coming together for our Chance to Stay campaign. Thank you to every single person who helped us make this change. 

Over the past 5 months we’ve completely changed the Welsh Government’s mind and now the law says clearly that young people are able to stay with their foster carers if they want to.

In her message last night, one of the young people who has been campaigning with us explained how she felt about the past few months:

What a RESULT. We have been campaigning since November. We've been to Llanelli, Newport, Cardiff, Children’s Commissioners office, the Senedd, and everywhere else.

We have written letters to AM'S to ask then to vote YES! We have met with some AM'S for face to face discussions to get our point across. We have interviewed AM'S about what they think about the campaign. We have met up with other campaigners to help with the campaign. We have gone to see the AM'S discuss our campaign in the chamber, we've also seen them vote. They voted last time but that wasn’t enough. We needed the amendment stronger so we went away to write more letters and ask people to help us.

As Gwenda Thomas AM promised in the chamber last time to make the amendment stronger, today we saw it happen.  They ALL agreed that we ARE allowed to stay in foster care until the age of 21 and local authorities have to provide money to let the children stay in foster care.

This was an unbelievable result for us campaigners. We are so thankful to the AM'S for all the help that they have given us, without their vote we wouldn’t have this result. Thanks to Lindsay Whittle AM and Rebecca Evans AM for pointing us out to the other AMs, it really did make us feel proud. A big thank you to everyone who took part in such an amazing campaign. We should all be proud.....WEVE DONE IT!"

We will carry on working to make sure the law makes a difference in real life. There’s more work to be done before all the young people who need it have this chance, but getting the law right is an enormous achievement. Thank you everyone who helped us get there. 

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