Voices From Care Cymru
When I’m Ready has been a part of Leaving Care Services since April 2016, yet very few young people have heard of it or understand it fully.
What is it?
When I’m Ready was introduced to Wales in 2016, via the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014. It is a scheme that is specific to Wales, enabling young people in foster care the opportunity to remain with their carers past the age of 18. This is significant, as before When I’m Ready young people had to leave their foster carers following their 18th birthday, whether they wanted to or not.
When I’m Ready aims to provide young people in foster care, some control over the decisions that affect their lives. It can provide stability and support in a caring home, giving young people time and space to be ready for independent living.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for the When I’m Ready scheme a young person needs to:
- Be in foster care in Wales
- Both the young person and the foster carer want to continue with their relationship and living arrangement
- The young person has lived with their foster carer/s for at least 6 months prior to their 18th birthday
- A young person does not have to undertaking full or part-time education, training or employment to access When I’m Ready
Voices From Care Cymru & When I’m Ready
For the past three years, VFCC have been looking into the When I’m Ready scheme, to understand how its delivered, what are the successes and challenges and to raise awareness. When I’m Ready when done well can provide a level of permanence to care experienced young people – allowing them the time and space to prepare for independence….a luxury their non-care experienced peers can take for granted.
“If I didn‘t have this, I’d have nothing” A young person in a WIR arrangement in 2019.
However, there are aspects of the scheme that can create confusion and complexities that practitioners and carers can find challenging to navigate.
Here at VFCC we recognise that information is key. Over the past few years, we have consulted with the WIR community; young people, practitioners, foster carers and Welsh Government. With the support of young people (with lived experience of the scheme) we have produced information, literature and resources to raise awareness of the WIR scheme and widen participation.
We continue to strive to provide legitimate and authentic information around the scheme and hope to influence change to support care experienced young people in their journey to independence.
To find out more about our project or the WIR scheme, please visit our website or get in touch
Blog written by Jane Trezise