When you turn 18, the Children's Service will no longer be your main source of income.
If eligible, you should claim Universal Credit or other benefits when you turn 18.
We can help you manage your money.
We can give you a weekly allowance while you're waiting for your benefit claim to be processed. We expect you to pay this back.
After 4 weeks, you should get advanced payments through the social benefits system if you're still waiting for social benefits to be paid.
Paying for services when you leave care
Once you turn 18 you'll be responsible for paying for things through working, claiming benefits or your student loan. This includes bills, living costs, food and travel.
You're entitled to a setting up home allowance of £2,000 (or £3,000 if you turned 18 after 1 May 2023).
The setting up home allowance is for you to spend on things like furniture and essentials for your home.
We may be able to help you with other costs. These could include:
- rent and bills
- education costs, for example books, fees and travel
- getting work, for example interviews and travel
- training or skills development, for example IT courses and driving lessons
- cultural or religious needs
- special needs, such as disabilities, pregnancy and parenthood
- personal documentation, for example your passport or Citizenship.
Speak to your personal adviser if you need support with any of these things. They can work with you to look at your finances and make changes to your pathway plan if necessary.
There may be times when you hit a crisis or have an unexpected bill, such as dental treatment. We do not have to pay for these but we may be able to support you.
Our role is to help you prepare for adulthood - so support and advice may not be financial help. We may offer solutions to help you solve the crisis yourself or signpost to the right agency to help resolve the issue.
Speak to your personal advisor about your financial issues.
Money and budgeting
Your personal advisor can help you with your money and budgeting.
They can also help you to:
- open a bank account
- find out about money management courses
- get your National Insurance number
- find exceptional financial support if you have an emergency
- make sure you have appropriate identification (ID) documents
- apply for benefits if you're in full-time education
- apply for benefits if you're looking for work, or if you're unable to work
- 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
- stay in touch with people who are important to you by helping with transport costs
- get financial support if you're an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC)
When you were in care you should have been getting allowances and had money put into a savings account, or a Junior ISA opened for you. You’ll be able to access these savings when you turn 18.
Saving can be hard but your personal advisor can help you organise a budget plan and be involved in your spending if you’d like.
You can get more money advice from the following organisations:
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