Former Relevant care leavers
You are a Former Relevant care leaver if:
If at the age of 21 you're still being helped by Lancashire county Council with education or training then you'll remain a Former Relevant young person, until a maximum age of 25. What support you'll be receiving must be set out in your pathway plan.
You can also return back to Lancashire County Council at any point between your 21st and 25th birthday if you want to return to education or training. You will then be a Former Relevant young person once again.
What you can expect from Lancashire Children's Social Care
- You'll still have a personal adviser
- Your pathway plan will continue and be reviewed every 6 months or more frequently if there is a change in circumstance
- We must keep in touch - how much contact will depend on your circumstances (must be at least every two months), this will be discussed at your pathway plan review with your personal adviser
- Higher Education Bursary and other financial support connected with work, education or training
Now that you're 18 you will be able to access your Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund, please discuss this with your personal adviser.
Now that you're 18 you will no longer receive a weekly leaving care allowance. If you are not receiving an income from employment, apprenticeship or in Higher Education then you will need to make a claim for benefits for your weekly income and rent.
Support will be based on your needs assessment and noted in your pathway plan. Below are some of the entitlements you may still receive as a Former Relevant care leaver:
- Vacation Accommodation-if you are doing a degree course away from home and you need accommodation during university holidays then funding will be provided (level of rent will be based on assessed need)
- Higher Education Bursary- if you're a care leaver starting university before your 25th birthday you'll be entitled to the Local Authority Higher Education Bursary. This is a one off payment that will be split into term time payments
- Graduation Bursary- on completion of your degree you will receive a one off payment. This is only available to young people that started their degree 2014 onwards.
- Funding from the 16-19 Bursary Fund from your school, college or training provider to fund transport costs or equipment.
- A Leaving Care Allowance Enhancement if you are in part-time education, training or voluntary work up to the age of 19.
- University tuition fee and maintenance support from the Government see student finance (external link) for more information
- Course equipment for university like books, stationary and a laptop
- Rent deposit, bond or administrative fees
- Removal costs
- Setting up home allowance - funding up to £2,050 (based on assessed need) for items you need for setting up home like appliances, bedding, furniture and contents insurance. Your social worker or personal adviser will be able to support you when purchasing the items.
- Your first TV licence
- Starter pack for setting up home – a one-off payment towards utilities, cleaning and food
- Council Tax grant - if you are living independently and liable for council tax payments we now provide a council tax grant up to the age of 25. Your personal adviser will discuss this with you and what you need to do, such as signing a declaration form which is then sent to the district council. You must tell your personal adviser of any change of circumstance or if you move. If you are closed to the service and under 25 then you can contact customer care on 0300 123 6720 and request a council tax grant as you are a care leaver. A personal adviser will then arrange to see you and see if you are eligible for the grant.
- Birthday allowance for 18th and 21st birthday
- Funding for your hobbies, leisure activities, talents or skills
- Driving licence or passport
- Driving lessons - if linked to a future career or employment, you'll need to contribute 10% or if you're in employment 50%
- Clothing allowance - for interview clothing, work wear or clothing for educational activities – based on need
There are some exceptions to these entitlements and some young people may be entitled to additional benefits or funding. You should speak to your personal adviser if you have any questions about what you are entitled to.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Young Person
If you are an Unaccompanied Asylum seeking young person and were previously Eligible or Relevant before your 18th birthday then you will be considered a Former Relevant Young Person under the Childrens Leaving Care Act 2000. For more detailed information see the migrant children section of the Coram Children's Legal Centre website.
Education, employment and training
Your personal adviser will work with you to ensure that you have all the information that you need about different education, employment and training opportunities that are available. The council has its own apprenticeship schemes that we can help you apply for and we have good links with local further education colleges. Talk to your personal adviser to see what options are out there for you.
We work closely with local universities to provide opportunities for care leavers to experience university life. For more information on support provided for care leavers at university check the Propel website.
Returning care leavers 21-25
You may decide at some point between the ages of 21-25 that you want to go back into education or training, if so then contact us on 0300 123 6720 and a personal adviser will get back to you to arrange a time to see you. The personal adviser will need to undertake an assessment to see what support we can help you with.
Access to records
Childrens Services must keep all of your case records such as reviews, assessments and pathway plans. Once you are 18 years of age you can ask to access your records. Once you have requested access to your records they will be prepared and some third party information (about other people) may be removed. Your personal adviser will be able to explain more about this and support you with applying for access. You may want to consider having someone with you when you read through your records to provide support.
For more information about your records and how to request access to them see the guide your information your rights (PDF 246KB) you can also email email@example.com.
More information and advice
To find out more about leaving care, education and benefits check these websites.