CELCIS have produced their latest research on Continuing Care in practice revealing that further work needs to be done to ensure this life changing policy is implemented consistently and effectively across Scotland.

Read full report 

Read briefing 

Key findings include:

  • The importance of trusting, long-term, relationships to the implementation of continuing care
  • Challenges of legislation and policy (eg misalignment and ambiguity in registration requirements for residential care and foster care settings; lack of clarity around eligibility or conditions associated with continuing care such as age or level of need, or requiring young people to request continuing care)
  • Variation in who raised continuing care with young people, and when
  • ‘Blanket’ application of principles without assessment of individual circumstances
  • Challenges in the financial resourcing for, and availability of, care placements
  • Challenges supporting young people through transitions
  • Variations in practice dependant on placement type
  • A belief that continuing care provision should be the default starting position

Examples of positive applications of the policy include

  • Positioning continuing care as a natural progression as part of the care journey, rather than an end or beginning of different services
  • Raising continuing care with foster carers before a child or young person is placed with the
  • Local authorities planning well in advance for the financial implications of providing continuing car
  • Providing appropriate support to carers throughout the delivery of continuing care for young people.

Key recommendations 

Culture and Leadership 

  • All parties to articulate and prioritise continuing care as the default provision for young people
  • Improved national finance and resource planning to guarantee care setting capacity
  • Local authorities must plan finances to guarantee every eligible young person’s continuing care entitlemen
  • Care planning decisions made with a presumption that the young person will remain to the age of 21
  • Information on rights and entitlements to be freely available from multiple sources in appropriate formats
  • Clear, practice focused materials for staff, carers, and young people
  • Clarified role of Scottish Government and regulatory bodies in monitoring continuing care

Updated guidance

  • Young people should always have a right to return to their care setting up to the age of 18 as a minimum
  • Makes continuing care the default position for all eligible young people
  • Clarifies a presumption that placements continue to be suitable for continuing care
  • Emphasises that the young person does not need to ‘cease to be looked after’
  • Removes any requirement to ‘request’ continuing care
  • Focuses on early planning.


  • Foster carer recruitment, assessment, registration, and training, conducted on the basis of providing care through to 21
  • Continuing care addressed at the start of the matching process
  • Consistent national fees and allowances for foster and formal kinship carers
  • Residential care settings provide continuing care for all eligible young people in their care
  • Young people in continuing care should not pay for their own care placement.

Continuing Care is not about unnecessary change for young people and adults leaving care – but it is about change in culture and practice. It means not moving a young person from their home environment. Not expecting carers to reduce the support they provide. Not rupturing established, trusted, and loving relationships between young people and their carers. Continuing Care is about providing consistency, predictability, and appropriate support as a young person develops and grows into adulthood.

To discuss issues around Continuing Care why not sign up to our bi-monthly Implications of Continuing Care Focus Group at www.staf.scot/events