Relevant care leavers
You are a Relevant care leaver if:
You are 16 or 17 and;
- You were previously an 'Eligible' (Looked After) young person
- You have left care
A Relevant care leaver can include those that have been detained through the criminal justice system or were in hospital on their 16th Birthday.
If there is a planned move for you to return back home to parents or someone with parental responsibility then you will become a relevant young person. After 6 months this changes to a young person Qualifying for Advice and Assistance - discuss with your social worker what this means. If things don't work out at home then you will go back to being a Relevant care leaver.
What you can expect from Lancashire Children's Social Care
- Your personal adviser will remain allocated
- Your needs assessment will be ongoing
- Your pathway plan will be reviewed every 6 months or more frequently if your circumstances change
- We'll provide accommodation and maintenance
- Financial assistance to meet education, training and employment needs
- We must keep in touch – at least every two months
As a relevant care leaver you will receive financial support from Lancashire County Council, such as accommodation costs and allowances.
As a Relevant care leaver living independently then in most cases you will not be able to claim certain benefits (unless you are a lone parent) such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance and Universal credit. Therefore Lancashire County Council will provide you with financial assistance for your day to day living costs.
Support will be based on your needs assessment and noted in your pathway plan. This could include:
- A Leaving Care Allowance (if you live independently up to the age of 18) to cover the costs of day to day living including food, utility bills, general travel, social life and entertainment and toiletries. The amount will be the same as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support)
- Rent costs up to the age of 18
- Rent deposit, bond and administrative fees
- 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
- Removal costs
- Starter pack for setting up home – a one-off payment of £70 towards utilities, cleaning and food
- Funding to re-sit GCSE's, A Levels or AS Levels
- 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.
- Course equipment for university like books, stationary and a laptop
- Birthday allowance
- 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
- Health costs such as vouchers towards the cost of glasses
There are some exceptions to these entitlements and some young people may be entitled to additional benefits or funding. Speak to your personal adviser if you have any questions about what you are entitled to.
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. We also have good links with further education (FE) colleges. Talk to your personal adviser to see what options are out there for you.
If you were born before 1 September 2002 or after 2 January 2011, a special savings accounts called a Junior ISA will be opened for you with £200. You cannot take the money out until you are 18. If you want to know more talk to your social worker.
More information and advice
To find out more about leaving care, education and benefits check these websites.