Financial support for young people leaving care

To support you leaving care we will make sure that you have the advice you need to learn to manage your money and that this is detailed in your Pathway Plan budgeting section. We will also support you with benefits claims and accessing the financial support that you need.

How we can help

We may be able to support you to:

  • Access your savings from your time in care
  • Get your National Insurance number
  • Open a bank account or if you cannot do this find you the right advice and support to look at alternatives
  • Access the right emergency financial support if you need it
  • Gain budgeting skills and financial independence through the Life Skills Programme

Applying for benefits

In your 17th year, your Personal Advisor will be available to support you to apply for Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs.

We will work with your social worker and your carers to make sure that if you need to claim benefits when you turn 18, that you make a claim for these before your 18th birthday. As a care leaver you can apply up to six weeks in advance of your 18th birthday to ensure that you receive your benefits on time. If you want to claim benefits speak to your Personal Adviser to arrange this.

We work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Job Centre to support you with your benefits. We will work with your Job Coach and the DWP to address any issues that you might have with benefits claims.

We are always building stronger relationships with our local Job Centre Plus to improve the support we can offer you. If you are struggling with your benefits claims, there is a named worker in the Job Centre who can support you. 

If you are having any difficulties with your benefits you can also speak to your Personal Adviser.

What if you need financial advice

Care leavers can access financial information and advice from the sources below:

  • You can apply for other financial support provided by Wandsworth Borough Council via Wandsworth’s Discretionary Social Fund
  • YOUth Legal & Resource Centre aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable young people in South West London by offering independent, free legal advice in social welfare law
  • You can access further advice and assistance by requesting an appointment at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services
  • The Care Leavers’ Foundation makes small grants to care leavers aged up to 29 and is primarily targeted at care leavers aged 21+ who have no recourse to any statutory support or alternative sources of funding. They can help with personal development needs, crisis payments, education, training or employment needs
  • Become provides a range of help and advice on issues such as employment, money and education. They can be contacted via email or a freephone telephone advice line
  • Rees Care Leavers Foundation offers grants, crisis funds, and signposting to other services

Find out about other places you can for support