Finance information for care leavers

Managing money is sometimes tricky. There are lots of things that can go wrong if you don't manage your money. We want to make sure that you have the skills and knowledge to be able to manage your money and maximise your income. That way you can afford to do things like -

  • going out for meals
  • having fun with your friends
  • saving up for things like holidays and days out

We will provide you with information about your financial entitlements. We will support you to open a bank account if you do not already have one. We support all young people to have a savings account as early as possible. For those aged 16 and older we support them to have a current account when they are able to.

We will make sure that you have the ID you need, that shows your photo and date of birth. This will either be a driving licence or passport.

You will receive a birthday and festival allowance each year until you are 21.

The Setting Up Home Allowance (SUHA) is available when you move into semi-independent and independent housing. The SUHA is to help you to have the things you need to buy, and your personal advisor will support you with this.

We know how important it is for you to remain in contact with your support network. Your personal advisor will look at ways to support you with contact once you turn 18.

We will also pay for your driving licence, first practical and theory test, and 50% of your driving lessons. This is up to a maximum of 20, if this is agreed in your pathway plans. Some conditions do apply. Speak to your personal advisor for more information.

If you are moving into one of our properties, we will pay the first 2 weeks rent for you. If you need to move, we will support with removal costs if appropriate.

We will provide you with a laptop if you do not have one. This is to enable you to take up education, employment and training. It is also to help you to access safe and secure online services.

Passport to a Property

Your personal advisor can refer you to the Passport to a Property program. The program is run by Targeted Youth Services. The program will help you to think about budgeting and managing money. This is as well as all the other practical things you will need to know to progress into adulthood and independence.


The leaving care team works closely with the Job Centre Plus. This is to make sure that young people can access support quickly and avoid getting into financial difficulty. Your personal advisor will support you to get ready for making an application for Universal Credit. They will make sure you have the documents you need and can access the online application process.

Young people receiving personal allowance payments and those aged 18 to 21 years who are claiming relevant benefits will receive a top-up to £60.

Education and bursaries

Care leavers are guaranteed a bursary through the government's 16 to 19 bursary scheme. Your personal advisor will help you to make application. This is through your education or training provider. They will provide letters you will need to prove that you are a care leaver.


We want to encourage people to get involved in any activity that might help them move towards training or employment. If you are doing a course of education, training or work experience activities and cannot access a bursary, we will consider paying you an incentive and support you with travel and meals. We will also help with equipment that you might need for your chosen course or employment.

Council tax exemption or DHP

We offer a council tax exemption for care leavers aged 18 to 21 years. We will also pay your council tax in any area where the council do not give care leavers council tax exemption. There may be circumstances where we can request a discretionary exemption those aged 22 to 25. This is based on an assessment of your needs.

If you are completing an apprenticeship programme and on the minimum apprenticeship wage, we can offer support. This is so that you do not have to struggle to pay your living expenses. We can help with rent payments, travel and lunches.

If you are employed on a low wage, we can also help you to apply for extra support with your accommodation costs.

Emergency payments and support

Young people who find themselves in financial difficulty can access support from the leaving care team. This will be based on an assessment of your needs. The support we give may be in cash or in kind, such as food parcels or travel vouchers, or a combination of both. It is important that you can provide us with all the information we need. This to be able to assess your needs and offer you the appropriate support.

Junior ISA

When you turn 18 you will be able to take over responsibility for your Junior ISA. Speak to your personal advisor who can help you do this.

Financial procedures

Find out about our financial procedures in the document below -

Financial procedures for leaving the care service