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Lucinda's blog 

For Care Experienced History Month, we asked people to share what they want to see made history in the care system. Lucinda shares that she would like to see an end to care-experienced young people facing homelessness.

Lucinda Fernandes Marvilha has been working with Become since 2021, the year Care Experienced History Month (CEHM) began, on our campaigns, fundraising appeals, and as an accredited young trainer. Here she shares what she would most like to see be made history about the care system for 2024’s Care Experienced History Month (CEHM).

What I would most like to see be made history about the care system is the social housing policy. When I was a young person leaving the care system, I was offered social housing in my home area in the year of my 21st birthday. But I still had one year to go of my four-year degree, which was at the other end of the country, and then I studied at the same university for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Being provided with somewhere to live after leaving care was something I of course needed and was entitled to from my local authority. But not if it meant having to leave university.

By the time I finished university in 2020, I no longer qualified for social housing because I was no longer in contact with a PA to advise me on this. I am fortunate because I was able to move back in with my foster carers when I graduated and will stay with them until I find a place of my own. But many young people leaving care are not able to stay with their foster carers. What do they do?

My hope for the future for care-experienced young people is that all care leavers would be able to stay with their foster carers post 18 whenever appropriate, to reduce the risk of homelessness.

Further funding needs to be made available for foster carers so they can offer Staying Put because many foster carers do not have another job and fostering is their sole source of income. The allowances for Staying Put go down after the first year, then again after the second year, meaning that they often cannot afford to continue looking after a care leaver and need their bedroom for another looked-after child instead.

Too many young people are expected to leave care before they feel ready, falling at a time in their life when they need stability the most.


Lucinda’s blog for CEHM

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