The Welsh Government has recently announced plans to launch a new basic income scheme for young people leaving care. The new scheme will run for a minimum of three years, with each leaver receiving a basic income payment of £1600 a month for a period of 24 months, beginning a month after their 18th birthday.
It is hoped that the newly introduced basic income will help to provide extra support for young people as they leave care, which can then be assessed to see whether the impacts are positive, negative, neutral or varied. All young people leaving care will be offered this opportunity, which is estimated to be over 500.
Another added benefit of the new scheme is that it will allow the stated benefits of basic income to be assessed, so the government and other professionals can see how effective it is. Some stated benefits of the basic income scheme are:
- Improved financial wellbeing.
- Improving health.
- Addresses poverty and unemployment.
Overall the scheme offers a beam of hope for young people leaving care, who may feel alone without support from a guardian, or restricted in their educational choices after turning 18. This will give them the freedom and support to choose their desired path and be able to support themselves whilst doing so.
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt stated:
“Care leavers have a right to be properly supported as they develop into independent young adults. Yet, too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to achieving a successful transition into adulthood. Our Basic Income pilot is an exciting project to deliver financial stability for a generation of young people that need it most.” Adding the pilot scheme will ensure that “young people who take part will get all the support they need to give them the best possible chance to make their way in life and the transition out of care better, easier and more positive.”