Help with your money (care leavers)
We can help you learn the skill of managing your money, working out how much you have and deciding how you spend it.
Help to manage your money
Your social worker or YPA will help you to complete a 'financial assessment' which looks at your income and spending and forms the basis of your budget plan which they can also help you with. Sometimes it may be your foster carer, keyworker or someone else who does this with you. It's very important that you learn to budget as this will help you when you are living independently.
We'll help you to set up a bank account if you don't already have one. We can also give you information about the NEFirst Credit Union who offer savings accounts and loans. They also have schemes where you can buy furniture and white goods by weekly payments.
The Citizens Advice can give you independent debt advice as well as help and advice on money matters, welfare benefits and tax.
16 and 17 year old
Usually young people will stay in care until the age of 18. If you leave care before you are 18, your social worker will help you plan this. We will pay most of your rent and also pay you a weekly income which is paid at the same amount as you would receive if you were claiming benefits. We will also give you a home allowance to help you with the essential items you need. If you are sick or a single parent you will be able to claim benefits instead of the weekly payment from us.
18 and over
If you are not working full time you will be able to claim benefits and we will help you make a claim. See our Universal Credit and benefits - help for care leavers page.
If you go to college you can get up to £1,200 to pay for things like clothing, books, equipment for your course, transport and lunch on the days you study or train.
If you are in further or higher education after the age of 21 we can give you support and assistance. This can be provided until you are 25 if you stay in education.
Important documents you might need
Your social worker will help you to apply for your National Insurance Number as soon as you are old enough. You should have this before your 16th birthday. We will also help you to make sure you have photographic identification, which you will need to access services. We will support you with either your passport or provisional driving license.