Financial support for Eligible and Relevant care leavers

As a care leaver we will try to help you financially. Your personal adviser will give you more advice and information if you need it.

You are an Eligible care leaver if:

You are aged 16 or 17 and;

  • You are currently in the care of the local authority;
  • You have been in the care of the local authority for a period of 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after you reached 14 and must include at least 1 day whilst you were 16 or 17 years old.
  • You have a Care Order, and are living with parents or someone who has parental responsibility for you. 
    • If the Care Order is discharged then you will be considered a Relevant young person. If the Pathway Plan review makes a decision that your return home has been successful for a period of 6 months or more you will be considered a young person Qualifying for Advice and assistance

You are a Relevant care leaver if:

You are 16 or 17 and;

  • You were previously an 'Eligible' young person
  • You have left care

A Relevant care leaver can include those that have been detained through the criminal justice system, (on remand or serving a sentence) or were detained 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.

If you are an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker under the age of 18, you may be considered Eligible or Relevant but this depends on your legal status and whether or not you are living independently.

The table below is for Eligible and Relevant care leavers aged 16-17 and living in semi supported accommodation or living independently. Some support is based on assessed need, which means what the Leaving Care Service think you need.

Category Age criteria Our offer to you

Accommodation costs


Suitable accommodation based on assessed need.

Leaving Care Allowance


£71.70 of Leaving Care Allowance per week while living semi-independently or independently. You may not be paid directly, for example you could get food shopping or a voucher, based on assessed need.

This is 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 the current benefit rate such as Universal Credit

If you are a lone parent caring for your child then you might be able to claim benefits, ask your social worker or personal adviser for more information.

Interview clothes 16-21 Up to £100 for interview clothing based on assessed need.

Clothing Allowance


£150 clothing allowance twice a year if you are living independently, based on assessed need.

Maternity Allowance


Up to £100 Maternity Clothing Allowance if you are living independently.

Photo ID


Funding for one item of Photo ID (usually provisional driving licence) based on assessed need.

A passport will only be funded if needed for a specific reason such as employment or travel. If you lose your passport it's your responsibility to replace it.



Funding to see family or significant others based on assessed need.

Hobbies and interests


Funding to pursue hobbies or interests based on assessed need.

Celebrations or religious events

16-18 The equivalent of one Leaving Care Allowance for one annual celebration (such as Christmas or Eid), we can provide this as a voucher, cash or food, based on assessed need.
Birthday allowance

17th and 18th birthdays


Voluntary work


£25 per week for a minimum of 5 hours voluntary work based on assessed need.

Driving lessons


Funding for driving lessons if there is a clear link to a future career or employment, based on assessed need.

You will be expected to contribute 10% to the cost of each lesson. The number of lessons provided will be based on assessed need but will not be more than 20 lessons.

Funding for one theory test and one practical test will be provided.

Rent or bond deposit


We'll fund one rent and bond deposit to secure accommodation for independent living. Based on assessed need and outlined in your pathway plan.

6 months assured rent


6 months assured rent to the landlord of privately rented accommodation.

To access this you must have already demonstrated that you can maintain a tenancy and manage an income well.

Setting Up Home Allowance (SUHA)


Funding to buy essential furniture and household goods while living semi-/independently.

If you turned 18 on or after 1 April 2023 your Setting Up Home Allowance is £3,000.

If you turned 18 between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2023 your Setting up Home Allowance is £2,250 and you can request an additional £200 for items such as carpets when moving into social housing.

If you turned 18 before 1 April 2019 your Setting Up Home Allowance is £2050.

You can access your Setting Up Home Allowance up to your 25th birthday. Ask your personal adviser for more information.

Starter Pack


One Starter Pack of £70 for food (£30), cleaning products (£10) and utilities (£30) when moving into independent living for the first time.

Removal costs 16-25 Removal expenses for up to 2 address changes based on assessed need.
Work wear 16-21 Funding to buy essential work wear based on assessed need.
Travel to work 16-21 Funding to travel to a new place of part-time or full-time work for up to 4 weeks based on assessed need.
Part-time training or education 16-21 £25 per week when accessing part-time training or education if you can't get a bursary, for a limited period of time, based on assessed need.
Re-sitting exams 16-18 Funding to re-sit exams such as GCSEs or A-Levels, based on assessed need.
PEPSA for support into education, employment or training 16-25

Personal Education Plan Support Allowance (PEPSA) is funded by Lancashire Virtual School and is financial support to help progression, this is limited and based on assessed need.

Ask your social worker or personal adviser to see if you can access it.

Course equipment 16-18 Course equipment that cannot be funded through the 16-19 Bursary or PEPSA, based on assessed need.
Transport to education or training 16-21 Funding to pay for transport to education or training if no other funding is available, based on attendance