Find out what you are entitled to as a qualifying care leaver
are aged 18-21 (or 25 if still in full-time education)
spent less than 13 weeks in care since the age of 14
and spent at least one day in care on (or after) your 16th birthday
…then your care status is a Qualifying Care Leaver.
You are also a Qualifying Care Leaver if you left care and returned home for more than 6 months before you turned 18.
This is important to know because it defines what support you are entitled to.
You are entitled to advice and assistance from the Local Authority.
You may not be entitled to a Pathway Plan – however, the Local Authority should undertake a ‘needs assessment’ with you and provide you with advice following this, should you request it.
A ‘needs assessment’ looks at your circumstances and situation to identify what support you require.
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 and considered way.
Housing and Finance
Once you are over 18, you are usually financially responsible for your accommodation and day-to-day living costs.
If you are aged 18, 19 or 20, spent at least one day in care since the age of 16 and are homeless, you will automatically have a priority need when applying as homeless.
If you are 21 or over, you may still have a priority need when applying as homeless. For example, if you have mental or physical health needs, or if you are deemed as being ‘vulnerable’ as a result of time spent in care.
Education, Work and Training
Your Local Authority should provide or pay for accommodation during college or university holidays if you are studying away from home.
Your Local Authority may provide you with a grant to support you in accessing education, work or training.
Call our friendly Care Advice Line for free on 0800 023 2033
Have a question? Unsure about the information above?