Skip to main content

 

CAPTION: LCP Procedures
   
View LCP Procedures View LCP Procedures

CAPTION: workingtogether
   
View workingtogether View workingtogether

5.7.3 Financial Arrangements for Care Leavers

RELATED CHAPTER

See also: Children & Young People’s Guide to Financial Help and Support

This chapter was added to the manual in July 2014.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Legislation, Statutory Guidance and Regulations
  3. Living Allowances
  4. Additional Allowances
  5. Accommodation
  6. Employment, Education and Training Incentives
  7. Health
  8. Specific Groups


1. Introduction

Evidence from research continues to demonstrate Children in care/care leavers are highly represented in socially excluded groups, largely as a result of care leavers having to make their transition to adulthood much earlier than their peers.

In attempting to readdress this balance the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and subsequent regulations, placed responsibilities upon local authorities to ensure clear strategies and plans are in place for children looked after that provide effective support as they make the transition from care to adulthood.

In 2011 local authorities were issued with statutory guidance “Planning Transition to Adulthood Care Leavers Regulations Volume 3”. Chapter 8 of this guidance relates specifically to local authorities financial responsibilities towards children in care and care leavers.

Chapter 8 emphasises the need for authorities to:

  • Have a clear written and transparent financial policy that sets out young people’s entitlements;
  • Place an early emphasis on financial literacy and financial capability skills;
  • Use pocket money, leisure and clothing allowances provided within foster care and residential care to help children develop money management and finance skills;
  • Ensure allowances are based on an assessment of need and that they are set out in the young person’s care or pathway plan.

This policy has been written in in accordance with those requirements, and sets out how LBWF will ensure that children in our care and care leavers are supported in acquiring skills and knowledge which can assist them in making a smooth and effective transition into adulthood.

In making decisions about a young person’s support, LBWF recognises the need to respond to the diverse and differing needs of care leavers. As such individual circumstances will always be taken into account and support should be clearly laid out within young people’s pathway plans.


2. Legislation, Statutory Guidance and Regulations

Children Act 1989

The Children Act 1989 provides local authorities with powers to assist and prepare young people to leave care, through the provision of advising, assisting and befriending young people up to the age of 21 (24 if in a continuous course of education).

The 1989 Act remains the general legal framework for young people in and leaving care subsequently legislation has amended and supplemented its provisions.

Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 introduced new duties on local authorities to plan for looked after children, so that they have the support they need as they make their transition to the responsibilities of adulthood. The Act and its associated regulations and guidance aim to improve the life chances of young people.

The act extended the types of services and the upper age limits of the young people local authorities were responsible for as corporate parents. The act defines and sets out the minimum requirement for groups of young people eligible for leaving care support.

The Act defines four groups eligible for services. These are:

Eligible child

A child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who is still looked after.

Relevant child

A child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who has left care. This also includes young people who were detained (e.g. in a youth offending institution or hospital) when they turned 16 but immediately before that were looked after.

Former relevant child

A Young person over 18 who was previously ‘eligible’ or ‘relevant’. Local authorities support this group at least until age 21 or longer if in education or training.

Qualifying child

Any young person under 21 (or 24 if in education or training) who ceases to be looked after or accommodated in a variety of other settings, or privately fostered, after the age of 16. This also includes young people who are under a special guardianship order.

Children and Young Persons Act 2008

The Children and Young Person Act 2008 put into legislation some of the provisions of the 2007 Care Matters White paper Time for Change. The act reformed the statutory framework for the care system, extending the support for young people in and leaving care.

Statutory Guidance

There is a suite of statutory guidance that aims to assist and clarify local authorise duties towards children looked after and those who have left care. The guidance includes:

  • Care Planning, Placement and Case Reviews;
  • Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers;
  • Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) handbook;
  • Sufficiency - securing sufficient accommodation for looked after children.

Local authority responsibilities towards former looked after children in custody. In addition to the above guidance more recent related documents and case law that has impacted upon local authorities services to children and young people include the following:

2004 Caerphilly Judgement - Challenge to local authority responsibilities with respect of appointing a personal advisor and completion of pathway plans.

2007 - Sutton Judgement - A Challenge to local authority’s responsibilities to relevant young people.

2009 Southwark Judgement - provided case law with respect to local authority’s responsibilities to support homeless 16- 17 -year-old young people.

2012 - Care Leaver’s Charter: A set of promises that aid decision making. By signing up to it, local authorities promise to provide a range of support for care leavers into their adult life.

2013 Care Leaver Strategy: A cross-government strategy for young people leaving care. The strategy sets steps the government is taking - from housing to health services, from the justice system to educational institutions - to support care leavers to live independently once they have left their placement.


3. Living Allowances

For a detailed list of financial allowances, please contact the Children in Care/ Leaving Care Team at Waltham Forest Children’s Services on 020 8496 3000.

3.1 Living in foster placements or residential placements

Young people should receive appropriate age allowances such as pocket money, toiletries, clothing, and leisure opportunities through there care provider. For young people 17-18 Waltham Forest encourages these allowances to be paid direct to young people’s bank accounts, to enable early financial management and responsibility. Waltham Forest expects all young people to have access to a bank account and carers should encourage young people to make regular savings. (See WF saving policy).

3.2 Living in Semi Independent/Supported accommodation

Waltham Forest CIC/LC service will pay a personal allowance direct into young people’s bank accounts. This allowance will be equivalent to Department Of work and pensions benefit rate for young people.

Allowances will be paid on a fortnightly basis, unless there are specific circumstances that require weekly payments and or where it is the view of the social worker/personal advisor that the young person is demonstrating difficulties in financial management.

3.3 Care Leavers aged 18yrs and over

At 18 financial responsibilities for care leavers transfers from the local authorities to the department of work and pensions where the young person is not in employment. The accommodation status of young people has no impact on their eligibility for these benefits.

Income support and housing benefit (soon to be Universal Benefit) are available for young people aged 18 -21 who are enrolled or (accepted) onto a further education course prior to their 19th birthday. (Further details can be obtained from www.gov.uk)

Where Young people are not in employment, education or training then they will need to apply for job seekers allowance. The CIC/LC personal advisor and or employment advisors can provide support to enable young people make timely applications for benefits.

3.4 Special Needs

Relevant Young People

Young people defined as relevant under the children leaving care act, and who are living independently are not entitled to claim benefits, as such they will receive the same allowances as those in the category of young people living in semi independence.

Lone parents and young people with disabilities

Young people who are lone parent or disabled who meet the criteria are eligible for benefits provided by department work and pensions, i.e. income support, disability living allowance, employment support allowance. As such this group fall will not receive any weekly living allowances from the CIC services, aside from the transition top up allowances described below. (See www.gov.uk for further information).


4. Additional Allowances

The celebration of a birthday and religious festival can be important events in young people’s lives. As such LBWF CIC/CL services will make the following allowance payments:

4.1 Birthdays

For young people living in foster care or residential settings this should be provided as part of the care offered by the placement.

For young people living in semi-independent (including supported lodgings) or those living independently, the allowance will be as follows:

16th £25
17th £25
18th £100
19th £25
20th £25
21st £150

4.2 Cultural and Religious Festivals Allowances

The festival allowance will only be paid to young people who remain in contact with the Leaving Care Team.

The festival allowance is available to all young people up to 21yrs. The allowance is £50. Young people are given a choice as to which festival this allowance is paid for. Where no preference is indicated within a young person pathway plan, the allowance will be paid in time for the Christmas Holiday. Personal Advisors are responsible for activating these allowances.

4.3 Leaving Care Grants

A leaving care grant is available to former relevant young people who leave care to live independently. Waltham Forest CIC/LC has responded to the recommendations made in the cross government leaving care strategy Waltham forest and increased the leaving care grant to £2000. This grant is available to young people to equip their first home via purchasing essential household items as well as the cost of removal, decoration and floor covering expenses.

Young people can access this grant up to the age of 21 (25 if attending higher education). The grant must always be spent collaboratively between the personal adviser and young person. Receipts should be retained by the personal adviser.

LBWF CIC/LC services offer a number of ways in which young people can access the grant, including a debit card, arrangements with national/local stores such as Argos and Tesco’s vouchers. Cash payments for smaller amounts can only be paid in exceptional circumstances and require the approval of Head of Service Children in Care.

4.4 Social Fund Applications/other Setting up home grants

Young People may also be eligible for a social fund grant/loan. The personal advisor will assist in the application for this. Any amount received from the social fund will not affect the £2000 payment made by the CIC/LC service.

Personal Advisers can also assist in accessing any grant available via other charities, community resources, including housing providers who may offer decorating allowances.

4.5 Contact Associated Costs

For some groups of young people the local authority has a duty to promote contact with family members including significant others.

Young people aged up to18:

The CIC/LC services will provide funding for public transport costs to assist young people maintain contact with significant others and or family.

Travel costs will be provided via travel warrants, travel passes, or through reimbursing of expenditure upon production of travel tickets.

Travel to visit family/significant others outside of the UK will be considered in exceptional circumstances only.

All significant family/others must be identified within young people’s pathway plans.

Costs will only be reimbursed as per contact arrangements specified in care plans. Where these are not clearly specified reimbursement will only be for a maximum of 2 contacts a month.

Young People aged 18 -21(25 if in education) contact costs:

The CIC/LC services will generally not meet costs associated with contact for young people aged over 18 years of age. Consideration may be given in exceptional circumstances to one off travel warrants subject to the team manager discretion.

4.6 General Clothing

16-18 year olds

It is expected that young people leave care with suitable clothing and footwear, young people living in foster placements or residential placements clothing allowance should be met as part of the care package.

For young people living in semi-independent/supported lodgings accommodation your weekly allowance is expected to cover all your needs including clothing. However the service will provide an annual payment of £100 towards the cost of purchasing appropriate winter clothing and footwear. This will be paid directly into bank accounts and must be agreed with your personal advisor.

18 -21(25 if in education) year olds

The CIC/LC services will not generally make payments to young people over 18 for the purchase of general clothing. Consideration may be given in exceptional circumstance to making one off payments to young people where the need is evidenced and following authorisation from a team manager.

Likewise generally no payment will be made to young people living at home unless there are exceptional circumstances that have been agreed with a team manager.

Unaccompanied Minors 16-18yrs

Where unaccompanied minors are newly arrived to the UK the CIC service will make a one off contribution up to £200 to enable the purchase of adequate clothing and footwear. This should be agreed with a team manager and can be paid via foster carer or residential providers. Where Young people enter directly into semi-independent/supported lodgings placement agreements should be reached with the young person, keyworker or supported lodgings carer as to how this money should be accessed. All purchases must be receipted.

4.7 Identity documents

The CIC/LC services will meet the cost of the following initial documents:

  • Birth Certificate or copy;
  • Passport/travel document;
  • Provisional driving licence.

In addition to birth certificates, social workers should make an application for a young person national insurance number at 17.5 years of age (See HM Revenue & Customs website)

Costs associated with naturalisation and British citizenship will not generally be met by the CIC/ LC services, however exceptional requests can be made which will require authorisation via the services panel process.

4.8 Starting Work Employment/Training

Eligible and Relevant 16-18 year olds

For those young people in full time employment or employed as an apprentice or trainee, the CIC/LC services will provide a financial top up allowance (up to national minimum wage level) where there income falls below that set as the national minimum wage for this age group.

If young people are in part time employment a pro rata figure will be agreed for a top up. This will be agreed with the personal advisor and outlined in the pathway plan and subject to participation in regular reviews. This top up will cease were income increases to above the minimum wage or when the employment ends or following a 12 month period.

Young People will need to provide proof of earnings to access this support.

Former relevant - 18 -21 year old (25 if in education)

The service will provide a four week top up and 4 weeks travel allowance for young people starting employment or a training scheme where there income falls below that of the national minimum wage.

Unemployed

Where the young person is not engaged in employment and will be transitioning to welfare benefits, The service will provide up to four weeks financial support (equivalent to local benefit rates for young people aged 18+) whilst benefit applications are being processed.

Any extension to this needs to be agreed by relevant team manager, with evidence that an application has been made.

These transition top up allowance will only be provided for one period of employment.

4.9 Maternity Grants and care leavers as parents

LBWF CIC/LC Services do not provide maternity grants or payments (unless exceptional circumstances - i.e. no recourse to public funds status). Following an assessment LBWF CIC/LC Services consider making a payment for the first child only. Social Workers and or Personal advisers can provide assistance to enable young parents to maximise their income.

Young Parents Unemployed

Lone parents aged 16+ are eligible for financial support via the Department of Works and Pensions Benefit entitlement should not be affected by looked after status, accommodation type or education status. (This excludes young people unable to access public funds).

Young Parents in Full-time Education

Students in higher education who are parents should be eligible to receive lone parent grants from the student loan company and may be eligible to receive benefits such as housing benefit depending on their circumstances.

Young Parents Who Are Working

Young parents who are in work may be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay from their employer, In addition to this extra financial help may be available through Working Tax Credit.

Former relevant

Young People aged 18+ are eligible to claim financial support eleven weeks prior to the child’s birth from the Department of Works and Pensions.

Personal advisors or specialist employment advisors within the CIC/LC service can assist parent’s access appropriate benefit and grants.

In addition to the above young people regardless of age are eligible to receive the following payments subject to meeting the criteria:

  • Sure Start Maternity Grant - This is a one off payment up to 500;
  • Healthy Start Vouchers - These are free weekly vouchers, generally used to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins;
  • Child Benefit - if the child is living with young people.

For more detailed eligibility criteria information please visit (GOV UK website)

4.10 Child Care Costs

LBWF will not generally make any contributions towards child care costs. Social workers and personal advisors can assist in identifying funds via further and higher education establishments, care to learn fund, social fund and the department works and pensions.

In exceptional circumstances i.e. young people with no access to public funds, an additional resource request can be made to the appropriate panel.

It is expected that local resources such as sure start and children’s centres have been explored before any additional resource request is made. Panel can only consider exceptional contributions and not full costs.

4.11 Emergency Financial Support and Additional Needs

LBWF CIC/CL services will only provide emergency financial support, where it can be evidenced applications have been made and refused by universal services, i.e. Department of Works and Pensions, local Authority Social Fund services and college/university hardship funds.

Where it is assessed that emergency support is required, the amount and type of support will be based upon individual needs and circumstances. Emergency Payments include defaults on requirements made by DWP and lost money.

The support will generally be via the provision of food vouchers, and or travel warrants. Cash payments will only be given in exceptional circumstances. Payment will be calculated at a daily rate equivalent to daily benefit entitlements (total benefit rate divided by 7).

Where young people make two or more requests for emergency payments then considerations should be given to providing young people with assistance in budgeting/financial management before any additional payments are authorised.

Additional Needs

LBWF CIC/CL services recognise that transitioning to adulthood can at times pose particular difficulties for some young people at any given time. In addition to this being independent can present with some emergency challenges that require a financial payment, if, contributions towards funeral costs or attire following the death of a close relative, loss of keys where living independently. As such and following discussion with a social worker/personal advisor the CIC/LC Services may provide discretionary funds for specific issues. Depending on the nature of emergency this should be agreed a team manager or the resource panel.

4.12 Social Activities and Leisure

Young people should be encouraged to pursue hobbies and interests, as well as actively engage in leisure pursuits throughout their childhood. Funding for these pursuits should be in accordance with young people care plan. For those young people living in foster care or residential placement these should be provided as part of the care package.

For young people living in semi-independent/supported living or independently the LBWF have made a commitment through our children in care pledge, to young people up to the age of 21 to provide access a local leisure centre for up to three months.

Membership will only be supported at the rate of the local authority’s provision and not private centres. Where young people reside outside of the London Borough of Waltham forest financial arrangements will be made to enable young people to purchase a three month pass to facilitate access to the relevant local authority leisure provision.


5. Accommodation

5.1 Eligible and relevant young people

LBWF CIC/LC Services are responsible for accommodation cost for young people defined as eligible or relevant (except where the young person resides at home).

16-18 Young people living in foster care/supported living accommodation will be expected to pay a contribution towards living costs where there utilities and food are provided. The amount will be specified in the young person pathway plan and placement agreement. Carers will be expected to deduct the specified amounts from allowances they give to young people. The CIC/LC would expect this amount to be no more than £15 per young person.

5.2 Former Relevant (18-21(25)

Care Leavers over the age of 18 are responsible for all costs associated with accommodation and can be assisted by the personal advisor to make appropriate claims for local housing living allowances and council tax benefit where appropriate.

The exception to this is where the young person is engaged in higher education (check further). For former relevant young people in further education the CIC/LC Services will provide an annual grant towards accommodation costs for the duration of the course that does not exceed a maximum of three years.

5.3 Private Accommodation: Rent Deposits

Where it is part of a young person’s pathway plan that they move into private rented accommodation, assistance can be provided up to the maximum of one month’s rent/one month’s deposit. Approval will need to be obtained from the local resource panel. Funding will not exceed the local housing allowance rates for the relevant local authority.

It is expected that the social worker/personal advisor will ensure that the young person has the means to meet rent allowance when they become liable at the age of 18.

5.4 Staying Put Arrangements

Where there is a plan for young people to remain with former foster carers under LBWF Staying Put Policy accommodation costs, will be in line with the staying put policy.

All requests for post 18 accommodation costs must be authorised via resource panel procedures and in advance of young people’s 18th birthday and thereafter at no less than 6 monthly intervals (except staying put).

5.5 Returning care leavers aged 21 - 25

Following a written request the CIC/LC services will make contributions to assist young people with accommodation costs where it is evidenced that it is necessary to enable young people to pursue education/training.

Assistance will be based on assessed needs and an updated pathway plan. Assistance will only be provided for the duration of the course, and will not exceed a maximum of three years. Any assistance will need to be approved via appropriate resource panel arrangements.


6. Employment, Education and Training Incentives

6.1 Universal Support

There are a range of universal provisions, including financial support available to assist young people with costs associated with entering full time education or work based study.

Entitlements can include:

  • 16-19 bursary of up to 1200. Care leavers are a priority group;
  • Income Support - as long as they are in in 'Relevant Education' from there 18th birthday until 21st birthday and as long as they started or were enrolled or accepted on the course prior to his/her 19th birthday;
  • Subsided travel -local authority website for details;
  • Discretionary learning funds - application via college.

The services provided through the CIC/LC services (including the virtual school and employment advisors) can provide support with enabling young people access these provisions.

6.2 Further Education/Training Support Package

In addition to the weekly living allowances outlined above, the CIC/LC services will provide financial incentives for young people in further education, where it is part of the young person pathway plan and provides a continuous programme of education aimed at young people reaching their career aspirations (must be detailed in pathway plans)

The financial incentives will be paid for the duration of the course during term time only. Authorisation for packages should be presented to resource panel in advance of the course beginning. Following the end of the agreed course, any further funding request will need to be approved via the resource panel.

The support package will include:

  • Weekly incentive payment for full time education/training;
  • Weekly incentive payment up to for part time study;
  • Annual Registration and exam fees;
  • Annual contribution towards textbooks identified as essential;
  • Annual contribution towards travel cost;
  • Purchase of a laptop and office student package for up to 1 pc;
  • Essential equipment related to the course;
  • One off payment for purchase of a college bag;
  • Annual payment towards purchase of stationary;
  • Cost associated with required field trips; within the UK;
  • A one off financial incentive to ensure adequate clothing for work/college.

These incentives will not be affected by any college bursary or income from part time employment. Social Worker/Personal advisors are responsible for requesting these support packages and any payments authorised will be made direct into young people’s bank accounts.

In order to qualify for this package individuals in are expected to evidence 90% attendance rates and to maintain regular contact with their social worker or personal advisors well as signing a t learners agreement contract (need check we have one)

The CIC/LC services will consider withdrawing funding where this is not adhered to.

6.3 Higher education Support Packages

Former Relevant young people who go on to higher education studies can be provided with a higher education support package from the CIC/LC services. This includes costs associated with accommodation and the higher education bursary.

Care Leavers are a priority group for student maintenance grants. Lone parents and disabled students are priority groups for special supports grants. The service will assist young people in accessing appropriate grants and loans where they meet the criteria, in order to enable young people to meet the costs associated with course fees and costs of living.

The service cannot pay university course fees however will consider making a contribution subject to an assessment of need and detailed pathway plan which can evidence the course was is in line with the career aspirations of the young person prior to them becoming a former relevant child.

The Higher Education Support Package includes the following: (3 years only)

  • Provision of laptop and a one off let student package (where this has not been accessed via the further education support package);
  • Annual grant towards accommodation costs which includes vacation accommodation also;
  • Annual grant towards living expenses;
  • Annual higher education bursary of 2000 over three years. (Paid in three instalments over two years);
  • Annual book and equipment allowance;
  • Funding of essential fiend trips;
  • Annual public transport allowance/grant. (Most cost effective route);
  • One off grant towards graduation ceremony.

Individuals attending University are expected to evidence successful yearly completion of study in order to qualify for financial support in subsequent years. The service will only fund one university course.

Personal advisors will access grant via authorisation from the services resource panel. Payment will be made direct into young people’s bank account, except where there has been an agreement to pay a former carer accommodation costs for vacation accommodation.

Where financial support is provided young people are expected to remain in touch with personal advisors, and provide evidence of continual attendance and successful completion of course work as well as signing a learner’s agreement contract (need check we have one)

Post Graduate Courses

Personal advisors can assist young people in to identify financial support and should they wish to undertake post graduate courses. CIC/LC services does not contribute to post graduate courses exceptional requests can be considered at the local resource panel, subject to a financial assessment and all other avenues of funding being explored.

6.4 Employment

Young people gaining employment will receive support with the following:

  • The Transition to Employment allowance described above;
  • A one off grant to enable purchase of suitable interview clothes;
  • 4 weeks public transport travel grant for the most cost effective journey;
  • A one off payment to purchase specific clothing/uniforms;
  • A one off payment to purchase specific equipment.

6.5 Work Experience Opportunities

Funding is available to assist care leavers undertake identified work placement opportunities, as well as a graduate training programme. Access to this funding is by meeting the criteria specified in the employability pledge. The employment advisors within the team are also able to offer a range of services including:

  • The guarantee of 1-2-1 information advice and guidance sessions to help secure education, employment or training;
  • During year 12 the offer of a work experience placement, varying between 2-6 weeks;
  • During year 13 and on leaving education, the offer of a paid internship of up to 12 weeks or a 12 month apprenticeship;
  • A three month £85.00 per week paid internship to graduates.

6.6 Post 21 Support for Education/training

Where a young person makes a written request assistance in resuming education/ training post 21, support can be provided subject to assessed needs. Allowances payable will not exceed those payable to young people in further/higher education. Please refer to the pa 25 policy for further details.


7. Health

7.1 Health related costs

Requests for assistance with health related costs can only be considered in exceptional circumstances and via approval of the resource panel.

Young People in receipt of some welfare benefits may be exempt from National Health Service charges such as dental, sight test and prescriptions charges.

Young people under 19 and in full time employment are in the main exempt from National Health Service charges.

Young people on low incomes can apply for National Health Service low income scheme

For more information and associated forms on health related expenses please visit the NHS website.

7.2 Counselling or Therapeutic Services

Children looked after in Waltham Forest can have access to a specialist child and adolescent Mental Health service known as Fast track. All requests for a support for this service need to be completed by a social worker and discussed with a Fastrack Consultant via agreed procedures. The service will not generally financially support private counselling/therapeutic services except in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the local resource panel.

Former relevant and older young people should be supported to access adult service provisions via there general practitioner. Personal advisors can assist with this. A referral can be made to access to adult services via personal advisors.


8. Specific Groups

8.1 Care Leavers who are disabled

CIC/LC services work with the transitions team to assist in early identification of care leavers meeting the criteria for adult provision post 18. Transitioning to adult services should begin for young people from age 14 years old; with final plans s being agreed at the 17.5 looked after children’s review.

With the exception of weekly living payments care leavers who are disabled can access all allowances within this document assuming they meet the defined criteria. It is expected that living allowances for young people with disabilities are sources via department works and pensions. Allowance information and criteria can be found at www.gov.uk

8.2 Detained young people (Custody or Hospital)

If a young person is ?detained’ in hospital or custody, the majority of their financial allowances will be suspended.

Young People in Custodial settings will in the main not require the same level of financial support as those living in the community.

For young people looked after by virtue of remand status it is envisaged that finical support will be provided from family/significant others. If this is not possible and following a financial assessment the allowances listed below can be approved via team managers.

Living Costs: Up to £15 per month depending on assessment.
Contact Costs: Up to £10 a month depending on assessment.

Young people who are detained in hospital will be provided with personal allowance of (£10.00 per week) and eligible for the clothing, birthday, festival allowances.

Former relevant young people will not be eligible for financial assistance whilst in custodial settings, exceptional circumstances requests can be made to the local resource panel.

8.3 Care Leavers and immigration

Young people aged 16-18 (18 birthday) who have an open asylum application are eligible to receive allowances outlined in this document.

Former relevant care leavers with leave to remain can access the allowances, benefits and grants from the service as outlined in this document, including accommodation.

Former relevant care leavers with limited leave to remain can may be eligible for allowances/benefits and grants outlined in this document as long as they have leave to remain or have an application with the has home office to extend this leave), they must be made aware that the education allowances will only be paid to fund an education course that finish in the academic year prior to their status expiring.

Further/Higher Education allowances can only be paid where it is in line with the young person’s pathway plan, and not for repeat course that do not show progression.

Allowances will only be paid up to 21yrs (or the end of the continuous course).

Young people who are unlawfully present in the UK, including those who have been refused asylum, and who have not applied for an extension, or where the extension application and or appeal has been refused can only be supported to the extent of the outcome of a Human Rights assessment.

Immigration legislation is complex and it is advised that practitioners regularly update young people’s immigration status and obtain advice from team managers on young people’s entitlements.

8.4 Young People living at home

Parents of children looked after who have returned home are responsible for their overall financial support.

Request for additional financial support from the CIC/LC services can be considered by the local resource panel, however all welfare benefit entitlements must have been claimed for. Any support that is provided will be as a one off payment of for a period of no longer than four weeks to enable benefit application to be made.

Young people who are subject to a care order and placed with parents will be entitled all the allowances in this document with the exception of the living allowance, clothing allowances and accommodation allowances.

Young people who are relevant will be entitled to all allowance for a 6 month period or when they reach their 18th birthday which is the shortest period of time. There after entitlements will be the same as former relevant young people.

Relevant young people living independently will be entitled to all allowances within this policy.

Advice with respect to benefit entitlements, including working tax credits can be obtained from the GOV UK website.

8.5 Qualifying young people

Young people who are defined as a qualifying are eligible for an assessment of their needs and support can be provided in kind or cash. Any request for financial support over team manager’s delegated responsibilities must be approved by the local resource panel.

8.6 Savings Criminal Compensation

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 recommends services apply the principal utilised by the Department of Work and Pensions regulations governing Income Support (the Income Support (IS) (General) Regulations 1987). This sets out a scale whereby capital up to £6000.00 is disregarded and someone with savings of £16,000.00 or more is not entitled to assistance.

Where a young person’s capital exceeds £6000.00 but is not more than £16,000.00 an amount corresponding to the excess is treated as a weekly contribution.

For every £250.00 of capital above £6000.00 young people will lose £1.00 per week of their living allowance Housing Benefit regulations sets out a similar scale whereby capital up to £6000.00 is disregarded and someone with capital assets of £16,000.00 or more is not entitled to assistance.

The details will be recorded in the Pathway Plan. Where a young person has been awarded a sum in compensation for a criminal injury, Leaving & Aftercare is required to disregard that capital entirely.

Further details about allowances are available from the Leaving Care Team.

This policy applies to young people who are or have been in care of LBWF and met the eligibility criteria specified by the Children leaving care act. The allowances within this policy will be reviewed annually.

End