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Accessibility Options

Financial support for education, work and training and accommodation are covered in the relevant sections of the care leavers local offer. Your Personal Adviser will be able to offer information and advice and any agreed financial support will be in you Pathway Plan.

16 to 17 year olds

If you live in semi-independent accommodation and not with foster carers we will provide a subsistence payment. The allowance is expected to cover your day-to-day living expenses including food, clothing, toiletries, leisure activities and travel. If you are in education, training or employment this subsistence payment is the equivalent to Universal Credit. If you are not in employment, education or training, then the level of financial support that you will receive will be the equivalent of Job Seekers allowance.

  • The allowance will be paid direct into your bank account wherever possible. The payments may be supervised by your Personal Adviser in some cases. 
  • If you are facing a crisis or financial hardship speak to your Personal Adviser, as they may be able to get discretionary funding for you in exceptional circumstances.
  • If you are remanded in custody this subsistence payment will be suspended and then reviewed/reinstated on release..

Your Personal Adviser will:

  • Provide a copy of your pathway plan (which you will have helped create), it will include a description of the financial support you will receive.
  • Provide advice on how to manage your money, you will be encouraged to complete an individual budget plan which will help to ensure that you manage your money effectively and do not get into debt.
  • Review your pathway plan regularly and adapt it to reflect your current circumstances.

If you become pregnant or already have a child, speak with your personal adviser to ensure you access all available sources of funding and support for you and your child.

Prior to the birth of the baby we can look to support you with the purchase of essential items through discretionary funding or through charitable organisations for bigger items such as prams and cots.

  • From 11 weeks before the baby is born you might be able to claim universal credits (income support), however if you or your partner is working then your entitlement will be affected. You might be entitled to maternity pay or allowances instead.
  • You will be able to claim child benefit once the baby is born. You will also be able to claim child benefit, child tax credits and may be entitled to working tax credits if you are employed.
  • You will be eligible to claim healthy start vouchers which can be used to purchase fruit, vegetable, milk, formula milk. Pregnant women and children aged between one and four will receive one voucher each per week. Infants under 12 months old will receive two vouchers per week. They are also entitled to free vitamin supplements if you are claiming benefits.
  • A Sure Start maternity grant of £500 is available for your first child if you are in receipt of universal credits (income support or JSA). The grant can be claimed from 11 weeks before the baby is due and before the baby is three months old.

18 to 25 year olds

Following your 18th birthday you will move from being supported by social care to becoming financially self-supporting. This may mean claiming benefits to fund the cost of where you are living and to support yourself while you study or look for work.  If you are facing a crisis or financial hardship speak to your Personal Adviser, as they may still be able to get discretionary funding for you in exceptional circumstances.

If required, your Personal Adviser will help you to claim benefits claim three weeks before your 18th birthday. You will be asked to sign a form saying that you are happy for them to talk to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about your claim. Your worker will help you obtain a National Insurance number or Home Office ID card, and support you to open a bank account into which your benefit can be paid.

You will be expected to create an account on gov.uk and manage your benefits claim online. For this you will need access to the internet either through a smart phone or computer. If you think you might find this difficult, talk to your Personal Adviser if you live in supported accommodation so that arrangements can be made.

  • If you are in education you will need to get a letter from your school or college stating that you are a full time student. 
  • You will also need a copy of your Tenancy Agreement or Staying Put agreement to take to your first Job Centre appointment. Your Personal Adviser will accompany you to the initial appointment or, if they are not available, identify another suitable person to attend with you.  

For further information on universal credit, applying and what you may be able to claim view the gov.uk website or speak to your Personal Adviser.

If you become pregnant or already have a child, speak with your personal adviser to ensure you access all available sources of funding and support for you and your child.

Prior to the birth of the baby we can look to support you with the purchase of essential items through discretionary funding or through charitable organisations for bigger items such as prams and cots.

  • You will be able to claim child benefit once the baby is born. You will also be able to claim child benefit, child tax credits and may be entitled to working tax credits if you are employed.
  • You will be eligible to claim healthy start vouchers which can be used to purchase fruit, vegetable, milk, formula milk. Pregnant women and children aged between one and four will receive one voucher each per week. Infants under 12 months old will receive two vouchers per week. They are also entitled to free vitamin supplements if you are claiming benefits.
  • A Sure Start maternity grant of £500 is available for your first child if you are in receipt of universal credits (income support or JSA). The grant can be claimed from 11 weeks before the baby is due and before the baby is three months old.

Financial support for 16 to 25 year olds

The NHS health costs scheme assists those who are on a low income to pay for the following services -

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • NHS sight tests
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Necessary costs of travel to receive NHS treatment under the care of a consultant or through a referral by a doctor or dentist.
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports.

Further information, eligibility and how to apply or speak to your Personal Adviser for guidance..

The local authority can fund the cost for one of the following items for young people leaving care:

  • Birth certificate
  • Provisional driving licence
  • Passport

The service will provide a financial gift to young people up to the age of 21 who are living in semi-independent or independent accommodation. In some instances, where it is deemed appropriate by the leaving care team, the young person may receive a gift or vouchers to the equivalent monetary value instead of a payment. If you are remanded in custody these payment will be suspended and then reviewed/reinstated on release.

Young people that receive a CICA payment will be assisted in seeking independent financial advice regarding the use of their award.

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