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Former Relevant Child

If you are aged 18-25, and you were in care for more than 13 weeks after your 14th birthday, including time on or after your 16th birthday, you have the care status of a ‘Former Relevant Child’. This is important to know because it defines what support you are entitled to.

Your views

  • You are entitled to a Personal Advisor. Their job is to provide you with practical and emotional support as you become an independent adult.
     
  • Your Personal Advisor should keep in touch with you, and visit you regularly. You should know the name and contact details of your Personal Advisor, and how to reach them.
     
  • You have a right to an advocate, who is there to ensure your views are being listened to. They can attend meetings with you, raise issues, and support you if you wish to make a complaint.
     
  • You are entitled to make a complaint- all Local Authorities have complaints procedures they must follow, to ensure all complaints are looked into in a fair

You are entitled to make a complaint

Planning

  • Your social worker should undertake a needs assessment with you before you leave care to make sure you are ready to live on your own. This includes ensuring you are ready to do things like budget, cook, clean and look into other aspects of living independently.
  • Around the age of 16, your social worker should begin planning your Pathway Plan with you. This should be reviewed at least every 6 months, or when you request a review of the plan.

Housing and Finance

  • Once you are over 18, you are usually financially responsible for your accommodation and day to day living costs.
     
  • Your Personal Advisor should provide you with information and advice around your accommodation and finances, such as budgeting, setting up bills, applying for benefits and how to arrange a tenancy.
     
  • You are entitled to a ‘setting up home allowance’, which is usually around £2000. This is for you to spend on things like furniture and essentials for your home.
     
  • If you are aged 18,19 or 20 and become homeless, you will automatically have a ‘priority need’ when applying as homeless to housing. If you are 21 or over, you may still have a ‘priority need’ if you are applying as homeless depending on your circumstances.
  • You are exempt from the shared accommodation rate up until the age of 25 

Education, Work and Training

  • Between the ages of 16-18, you are entitled to a 16-19 bursary for Further Education. This is up to £1200 and might include money for books, equipment or travel costs to school or college. To apply for this, speak to your Personal Advisor, a teacher, or student services at your school or college.
  • You can also get a 16-19 bursary if you are 19 and over and:
    – are continuing on a course you started aged 16 to 18 (known as being a ’19+ continuer’)
    or
    – have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) [link to government website? Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND): Extra help – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)]
     
  • If you attend University, you are entitled to a Higher Education bursary which is a minimum of £2000.
     
  • The Local Authority should provide or pay for accommodation during college or university holidays if you are studying away from home.
     
  • The Local Authority may contribute towards living expenses incurred near to your work, education or training. 

If you attend University, you are entitled to a Higher Education bursary

Local Offer

All Local Authorities are required to make public a Local Offer. This is a document that details the support you are entitled to from your Local Authority as a care leaver. You can find your Local Offer on here Care Leaver Local Offer :: Home (careleaveroffer.co.uk) 

Call our friendly Care Advice Line for free on 0800 023 2033

Have a question? Unsure about the information above?

Support, advice and information about leaving care