Norma Corlette, Staf Chief Executive, has today (Wednesday 3 September) welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans for the year ahead, hailing the young people who have “raised their voice and delivered change”.


In particular, Staf has welcomed the following announcements in the Programme for Government:

  • removing the age cap of 26 on the care-experienced student bursary
  • extending eligibility for free NHS dental care to care-experienced people between the ages of 18 and 26
  • providing early learning and childcare to 2 year olds whose parents are care-experienced
  • creating a statutory provision in favour of keeping brothers and sisters taken into care together
  • access to discretionary housing payments for care leavers to ensure they have more security in their tenancies
  • developing a new care leavers homelessness prevention pathway
  • launching a new Job Start Payment (previously proposed as a Job Grant) that all care leavers on a qualifying benefit will be able to access

Staf Chief Executive Norma Corlette said:


“I am delighted that the First Minister has announced further action to support care-experienced young people in its plans for the year ahead.


“In particular, I am pleased to see the exemption from dental charges and the removal of the cap on the care-experienced bursary – both of which have been raised with us by young people over the past year.


“A huge deal of credit is due to the young people who have raised their voice and delivered change, as well as to those who have listened and acted on this in the Independent Care Review and Scottish Government.


“Staf will continue to work to achieve the whole-systems change required to deliver a Scotland where the wellbeing and success of young people leaving care is indistinguishable from their peers in the general population.”


Kevin Lafferty, a peer leader in the Staf/CYCJ Youth Just Us project, raised the issue of the cap on the care-experienced bursary with the Deputy First Minister John Swinney in our latest podcast. He added:


“Today the Scottish Government showed that they are listening. Removing the age cap for the care experienced bursary is proof they realise being care experienced is a life-long experience and denying these benefits is simply saying ‘you’re fine now’.


“I’m delighted this happened and buzzing that our government is listening to those voices, the ones just like mine, to make Scotland’s care-experienced young people know they matter too!”



  • Read the Programme for Government in full here
  • Read our list of calls ahead of the Programme for Government here.
  • Listen to our podcast with John Swinney on the care-experienced bursary here.

For further information contact Liam Furby, Policy and Communications Manager at [email protected]