By allowing young people to stay with their foster carers for longer, the government has taken a step forward in righting the wrongs of a system that allows young people to leave care at 16.
Most children in care will have experienced great distress and upheaval in their childhood and for these reasons are not always ready to be independent.
Responding to the 'Staying Put' amendment in the Children and Families Bill, Action for Children welcomes the change but wants the age increase to apply to all young people in care.
Jacob Tas, interim chief executive of Action for Children, said: “This legislation will make an enormous difference to the lives of children and is very welcome, but it is only part of the solution.
“The care leaving age should be raised to 21 for every one – vulnerable children, many of whom have been abused or neglected, who live in residential care or with friends and relatives, face life alone as young as 16 at the moment.
“This won’t be straightforward, but is a challenge worth tackling as right now society is failing all the young people who are forced to leave care too soon.”
As a foster care provider Action for Children will work closely with governments to make sure the new legislation works. We are also working with the Welsh Government to make the case to ensure young people in Wales have the same rights.