Financial support is different for everyone depending on what you need. Your Personal Adviser will talk through this with you on an individual basis, using the Care Leavers financial regulations.
The financial regulations are reviewed regualry to make sure that they offer everyone what they need, and so our financial offer may change in the future.
We will try to help you financially, including:
- We will give you a leaving care grant of up to £2,000, to help you buy essential things when moving into your own home.
- We will pay your council tax up to the age of 21, once all relevant benefits are considered.
- We will provide or tell you about relevant money management courses.
- We will support you to access your Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund.
- Support you to re-connect and maintain relationships with your family
- Support you to access a leisure allowance, of up to £30 a month, until you are 21 years old.
- If you go to University, we will pay you a Higher Education Bursary of £2,000 a year for each year of your course.
- We will offer exceptional financial support in emergencies.
- We will give you a financial gift at birthdays and Christmas or other celebrations up to the age of 21
- We will give you financial incentives for completing voluntary work up to the age of 21.
- We will pay you financial incentives, of up to £20 a day, if you undertake work experience placement as part of our Foundations to Employment project.
- We will pay for one form of photo ID, passport, driving licence or citizen card
- If you are pregnant, or have become a parent, we will provide you with ‘baby boxes’ which will contain a variety of items to support you with your new arrival.
Claiming Universal Credit
We work in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to support you to plan and claim Universal Credit. Your PA will work with you to prepare your universal credit claim and support you to attend an interview with an identified DWP representative.
It can take up to 5 weeks for your Universal Credit claim to be processed and for you to receive your first payment. If you are going to struggle financially whilst your claim is being processed, please discuss this with your PA and we can offer you some financial support until you get paid.
As a Care Leaver you will have access to direct welfare benefit support should you need it. This support includes applying for any eligible state benefit, checking benefit entitlement, ensuring you are in receipt of the correct benefit rates, applying for disability benefits and/or appealing benefit decisions made by the DWP. Our welfare benefits officer can also support you to ensure that any council tax bills you receive are correct, inclusive of all reductions, and arrange for payment to be made up until your twenty first birthday.
You will need to have photo ID, a national insurance number and a bank account in order to receive payment from employment or benefits.
- We will support you to get your important identification documents, such as a passport or provisional driving license, before your eighteenth birthday.
- We will support to get your National Insurance number.
- We will support you to open a bank account.
Additional information for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC)
If you are an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child in the care of the Staffordshire Local Authority, you will be supported to make your claim for asylum and to access an immigration solicitor who is able to claim legal aid to support you with your claim. Your PA, foster care or support worker will help you to attend your appointments with the Home Office and your solicitor and will attend with you if you would like them to.
If you are unable to claim benefits because you are in an ‘excluded group’ due to your immigration status, help available might differ to those not classed as an excluded group. You can discuss this with your PA, and solicitor if you have one, who can help you to find out what financial support you may be entitled to.