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DoH PROPOSALS AIM TO HELP TEENAGERS

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Councils will be made responsible for providing personal and financial support to all 16 and 17 year olds leaving c...
Councils will be made responsible for providing personal and financial support to all 16 and 17 year olds leaving care under new proposals from the Department of Health.

Launching a consultation paper on the proposals, health secretary Frank Dobson said: 'No responsible parent turns out a 16-year-old child to fend for themselves, unsupported financially and emotionally. But that is what has been going on. Not any more.'

The paper, Me, survive, out there? New arrangements for young people living in and leaving care, proposes to:

Make councils provide all eligible 16 and 17 year olds who are in or have left care with personal and financial support, ending their dependence on a 'confusing mixture' of local social services support and benefits

End the practice of forcing children to leave care and fend for themselves

Remove incentives for councils to discharge young people early

Ensure that every 16 and 17 year old who is in or has left care has a trained young persons' adviser.

The proposals will be funded from the£375 million children's social services special grant, which was set up to implement the DoH's Quality Protects programme for children in care.

Oliver Mills, director of social services operations at Kent CC, said: 'The resources provided probably won't be sufficient as it is provided from the government Quality Protects funding that is already being spread over five other areas.'

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