How we support your independence as a qualifying care leaver.
Our team can give you advice to become independent. This might be how to:
- open a bank account
- apply for appropriate identification documents (ID)
- find out about relevant money management courses
- find information about how to access your Junior ISA (a fund of money set aside by the government), if you have one
- get your National Insurance number if you don't have one already
- find exceptional financial support if you have an emergency
- apply for benefits if you're looking for work, or if you're unable to work due to your personal circumstances
- apply for benefits if you need help to pay your rent or Council Tax
- apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payments) if you have a disability or health condition that means you're eligible
- apply for bursaries if you're in further or higher education
We can also give you advice on how to:
- access rent and deposit schemes to secure your own home
- stay in touch with people who are important to you
- maintain or regain contact with people special to you or who cared for you in the past, like former foster carers or social workers
- maintain or regain contact with members of your family
Find out more about managing your money on our youth link pages
Your income as a qualifying care leaver
Depending on your personal situation and if you meet the specific criteria you may be able to claim Universal Credit. We can help you speak with the Jobcentre to see if you can make a claim.
Immigration and asylum applications for qualifying care leavers
You can use legal aid in the UK to help you make a claim for asylum. Find out more about this from the Right to Remain Toolkit.
Clothing for qualifying care leavers
If you need clothes for college you should ask your college bursary to pay for them. If you need clothes for work and you're claiming Universal Credit you can ask your work coach to help you.
Learning to drive as a qualifying care leaver
We'll tell you about any schemes we know about that help care leavers learn to drive. The Rees Foundation is a provider used by Dorset care leavers in the past.
Emergency help for qualifying care leavers
If you need help with money or food we'll help you get a food bank voucher.
We'll also give you details of how to contact the local assistance fund.