How we can help you start being independent as a relevant care leaver.
Your social worker or Personal Adviser will support you to become independent with your money. They can help you to:
- open a bank account
- get your National Insurance number if you don't have one already
- find information about how to access your Junior ISA (a fund of money set aside by the government), if you have one
- find exceptional financial support if you have an emergency
- find out about relevant money management courses
- make sure you have appropriate identification documents (ID)
- 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
- access rent and deposit schemes to secure your own home
- buy essential things if you move into your own home from your setting up home grant
- stay in touch with people who are important to you by helping with transport costs
- access financial support if you're an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (USAC)
- where appropriate, continue to support contact with the Independent Visitor you had while you were in care
- 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.
Personal allowance for relevant care leavers
If you are 16 or 17 and have left care, you'll have a personal allowance from your social worker or Personal Adviser. This personal allowance will be the same as, if not more than the amount you'd get from Universal Credit.
Personal identification (ID)
Your social worker or Personal Adviser will make sure you have a passport before you're 18.
If you lose your ID, we will help with the cost of one form of replacement. You can use your personal allowance too if you need more ID.
Immigration and asylum applications for relevant 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 relevant care leavers
If you are 16 or 17 and have left care, your social worker or Personal Adviser will give you a monthly clothing allowance until you are 18.
If you need clothes for college you should use your college bursary to buy them. You can use your monthly allowance if you need clothes for work.
Mobile phone contract for relevant care leavers
If you are 16 or 17 and have left care we can give you a SIM card to help you stay connected with us while we're supporting you. The SIM card has:
- unlimited calls
- unlimited texts
- up to 10GB of data per month
We do not give money towards contracts you already have, or any that you've set up on your own. If you need a phone, you can budget for this from your personal allowance so that you can buy one.
Learning to drive as a relevant 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.
You can use your personal allowance to pay for your:
- driving lessons
- provisional licence
- theory test
- practical driving test
Leisure and the gym for relevant care leavers
Find out if you can get discounts for activities and events with the My Max Card.
Stay connected to important people as a relevant care leaver
Talk to your social worker or Personal Adviser to work out how to help you stay connected with the people who are important to you.
Emergency help for relevant care leavers
Speak to your social worker or Personal Adviser who may help you with a food parcel.
Birthday gifts for relevant care leavers
If you are 16 or 17 and have left care we'll give you a birthday gift up to and including your eighteenth birthday.
Festival and Christmas gifts for former relevant care leavers
Your social worker or Personal Adviser will send you a card and gift at Christmas or at your chosen festival celebration up until you're 18 years old.