If you are in financial crisis, and struggling with essentials such as food and utilities, we recommend contacting your Personal Advisor or Leaving Care team. If you don’t know how to get in contact with Leaving Care services, or are not sure if you’re entitled to this support, call our friendly Care Advice Line for assistance on 0800 023 2033 (10am-5pm Mon-Fri).
To have a look at what support your Local Authority provides care leavers, you can also have a look on the ‘Local Offer’. A Local Offer is a document or website that should provide a detailed overview of support available for care leavers from each Local Authority in England. Find your Local Offer here.
As well as providing foodbanks, Trussell Trust have a free national helpline for those in financial crisis which offers to ‘help address your crisis and provide support to maximise your income, help you navigate the benefits system, and identify any additional grants you could be entitled to’ available on 0808 208 2138 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).
Energy bills and living costs
If you are struggling to pay for energy bills and living costs, there is some helpful information and advice provided by Citizens Advice Bureau, detailing grants and benefits available that can help with:
The Rees Foundation is an organisation supporting care leavers of all ages, and may in some circumstances be able to provide crisis grants for areas such as utilities and groceries.
Turn2Us is a national charity providing help to those who are struggling financially. They have information about areas such as energy bills, cost of living and benefits, and also have a directory of grants which can be searched by need and location.
Local Authority Support
Some Local Authorities have financial support in place for those in crisis. This is usually called the ‘Household Support Fund’ or ‘Welfare Assistance Scheme’. Each council runs their own scheme and what is on offer, and how and who can access this varies. To find out more, you can contact your PA or Leaving Care team, or contact the council directly. Find your local council.
If you or someone in your household is receiving Universal Credit, you may be able to apply for a Budgeting Advance to help pay for emergency costs. Any money borrowed would have to be repaid through regular Universal Credit payments. If you would like to apply for a Budgeting Advance, speak to your local Jobcentre Plus work coach.
Debt Management support
If you are struggling with debts and would like advice on these, below are some organisations providing support around managing debts:
National Debtline has information, as well as support over the phone and online, on managing debt.
Step Change offer advice on getting finances back on track and helping with debt management.