If you are under 18, have left care and are living in independent or semi-independent accommodation, then your care status is a Relevant Child. This is important to know because it defines what support you are entitled to.
You have the right to be heard, and for your wishes and feelings to be taken into account when decisions are made about you.
You have the 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 must have a Personal Advisor allocated to you. They should visit you at least every two months, and within seven days of any move.
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 making sure you are ready to do things like budget, cook, clean, pay bills, and address other aspects of living on your own
Around the age of 16, your social worker should begin your Pathway Plan with you.
The Local Authority should find you safe and suitable housing, and pay for the cost of this accommodation.
The Local Authority should ensure you are given an allowance. This can be no less than the amount you would be getting if you were accessing benefits.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to more money. Your Personal Advisor should do a financial assessment to know how much money you need. A financial assessment should look at how much money you have, how much you spend, and what costs need to be covered.
You are likely to be eligible for the 16-19 Bursary. 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.