Check with student services at your college or sixth form to see what financial help is available to you. This can include lunch vouchers, bus pass, 16-18 bursary and help with childcare costs. You should not have to pay exam or enrolment fees for your first level 1 or level 2 qualifications. If you are being asked for money for your course, contact your social worker/personal adviser.
- If you are in full time education or training you will be eligible for the 16 -19 Bursary. If you are over 19 you may be eligible for a discretionary bursary to help with lunch costs, exam fees and books. Please ask at your college.
- If you are in independent living or semi-independent accommodation, we will provide you with a stationary pack. You will get this pack at the start of each academic year.
- To help you get to and from college, we can fund a bicycle, helmet, lock and lights from Halfords for you.
- You may be eligible for educational transport. Please see more options for Post 16 Transportation
- If you are caring for your own child or children and you are under 20, you could get help with childcare. The Care to Learn scheme can help you fund childcare while you are studying. If you are at college and your baby is due before the end of the course talk to your tutors.
If you are on a course, you will have support from your college or sixth form tutor and/or a progress coach. (We offer training to providers of post-16 education so that they understand the best ways to support looked after children and care leavers.).Your progress is monitored through your Personal Education Plan (PEP). You will be able to say what you like, or don’t enjoy about your course. You will be involved in setting targets and making plans for the future.
- If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or SEND support in school this will be reviewed once a year.
- If you are an unaccompanied asylum seeker, will we undertake an initial assessment of your literacy and numeracy levels. You you will get help to apply for an appropriate course. Your Personal Adviser will explain your options, and how our education system works.
On completion of further education, you may want to consider higher education. Details of financial support and options for university students is provided in our guide:
- Your Personal Adviser or the education, training and employment coordinator can help you. They can talk to you about attending Higher Education residential trips or Higher Education taster days. for Looked After Children and Care Leavers. They can also help you with your applications to university (UCAS), and with applying for student finance.
- We will cover the cost of travel to two open days and up to three interviews and, depending on your circumstances, we may cover the cost of someone to travel with you.
For more information on Higher Education and going to University look at the following websites:
- UCAS website - Information on university courses and how to apply. There is also a ‘choosing your course’ section and specific pages for care leavers.
- www.thestudentroom.co.uk - for potential and current students, includes a group chat and advice on revision.
- www.propel.org.uk - For care leavers applying to, and in, higher education. Shows the support available from individual universities.
Training and Traineeships
A Traineeship is a 12 week programme for 16-24 year olds. It combines the study of English and Maths with high quality work experience. It can lead on to an apprenticeship or full time employment. Specialist training providers or local colleges provide them. A traineeship is classed as 'further education' and you can get the same financial support.
- See the Money matters page for information on personal allowances
This is a great way to learn a job and get paid. If you follow this route you can get the £1,000 care leaver bursary for new apprentices.
- We will do an assessment of your outgoings and may offer help towards your rent, council tax, equipment-related expenses. If taking an Apprenticeship means you are financially disadvantaged.
- If your Apprenticeship is provided by a college you will still have Personal Education Plan (PEP) and/or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) meetings to discuss your progress.
To find out more about apprenticeships visit Gov.uk apprenticeships-guide
Job hunting, interviews and employment
- If you are job hunting, let your Personal Adviser know and they will provide you with a job hunting pack. You may also be to access face-to-face advice and support from the Education, Training and Employment Coordinator
- If you have an interview for a job, let your Personal Adviser know. We will pay for a haircut and interview clothing before the interview.
- To help you get to and from work, we can fund a bicycle, helmet, lock and lights from Halfords for you.
- If you are earning less than £150 a week you may be eligible for a bus pass
- You may want to consider your own transport. Charities such as the Kickstart Moped Scheme help reduce the barriers of getting to and from work.
- You may also be able to get driving lessons up to the value of £700. Please discuss this further with your Personal Adviser.
- If you are starting work we will help you to access any help that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provide. For example a clothing allowance or help with travel costs. If you need a DBS check to start your job we may fund this for you.
- See the Money matters page for information on personal allowances
If you are over 18 years old, and claiming certain benefits you should use the Universal job match as part of your job hunting. Your Job Centre work coach will set you up with a log-in and show you how to apply for jobs through the site. We will liaise with the local Job Centres. So that they know you are a Care Leaver, and you get the right training and job opportunities.
- To find local vacancies suitable for young people look at Youthoria.org website. If you live elsewhere we have links with neighbouring councils, and can find other local sources of support for you.
- The Princes Trust offers some great opportunities for 16-25 year olds looking to get into work. These include:
- The 12 week Team personal development programme
- 'Getting into courses' focused on a local job sector usually four to five weeks which includes a work experience element
- ‘Get started’ courses usually based on a creative or sports activity - one week course.
If you are working and expecting a baby you have the right to time off to attend ante-natal appointments. You cannot be dismissed due to your pregnancy. You can choose when your maternity leave begins. Your employer will be expected to keep your job open for you to return after your maternity leave. To check out your rights look at www.maternityaction.org.uk
You may also be interested in voluntering opportunities. This can help you to developing your skills and confidence. Some of the opportunities may come with recognised qualififications.
Pathways4us - Cambridgeshire Local offer for Care leavers section