Portsmouth welcomes fostering reforms

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PORTSMOUTH’S children’s services team has welcomed the news that youngsters in care can stay with their foster families until they’re 21.

The reform will be introduced during the third reading of the Children and Families Bill next year, and the government has pledged £40m over the next three years to fund the plan.

Kate Freeman, Portsmouth City Council’s children service commissioning manager, said: ‘We welcome the reform which will allow more of our young people to stay with their foster families until they are more prepared to live independently.

‘We already have a number of young people who have stayed with their foster families after the age of 18 due to the commitment of their carers and the relationship they have built up with the young people.’

Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and education, questioned whether £40m would be enough and urged the government to give local councils enough support to introduce the plan.