Knowsley Council’s bid to the Staying Close Fund has been successful, with the Council securing £222,944 to be used over the next two years.
Staying Close provides extra support for young people leaving care. It provides an offer of move-on accommodation, alongside a package of practical and emotional support, provided by a member of staff from their former children’s home or from someone who they know and trust. These bespoke packages of support help to develop their confidence and skills for independent living, and for their emotional health and wellbeing.
Knowsley’s Staying Close model will work with young people who have recently left or are preparing to leave residential care from the Council and privately run children’s homes, private semi-independent provision and the supported lodgings scheme.
A ‘Staying Close Plan’ will be developed, tailored to an individual’s circumstances, highlighting the individual support the young person will receive. Young people will also receive regular health and wellbeing checks-ins. Support on finances, mental health and wellbeing, education, training and work experience opportunities will also be provided.
Staying Close had been piloted in 2017-2018 in five local authorities and three private providers, with a further 15 local authorities funded in 2022-2023. Evaluation from these participating areas has shown positive outcomes for young people who have been involved in Staying Close, including reduced eviction rates, increased engagement in education, employment or training and improved wellbeing and relationship management skills.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“I’m delighted that we have secured Staying Close funding. Supporting our young people as they make the key transition into adulthood is a key priority for us.
“As the corporate parent to a number of young people in Knowsley, it’s essential that like any parent, we want the best for our young people and will support them as they become independent.
“The funding will help us to enhance this support, including access to housing, jobs, training and health services, and support their transition into adulthood.”