Up to age 18 the local council is responsible for supporting you and giving you enough money to live so you should contact your Personal Adviser in Children’s Services


You should contact your local Jobcentre Plus to find out what benefits are available to you. If you are 16 or over you are entitled to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance because you are a care leaver. Make sure you tell them that you are a care leaver to make sure you get everything you are entitled to

You might be told you have to apply for Universal Credit instead of Jobseeker’s Allowance

This requires quite a lot of information and needs to be done online. You can ask for help from either your Personal Adviser or from one of these organisations:

Become care leavers’ charity, advice line 0800 023 2033

Citizens Advice

Coram Voice

National Youth Advocacy Service


If you’re going to college or doing a training course then see what funding you are entitled to

You are entitled to subsidised transport if you are in school or college after age 16

The Education Maintenance Allowance has been closed in England but is still available if you are studying in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

In Scotland you can also apply for these benefits

In England the Education Maintenance Allowance has been replaced with the 16-19 Bursary. You are entitled to £1,200 every year if you are still at school or college


Want to go to university?

If you live in Scotland and wish to study at a Scottish university you won’t have to pay any tuition fees. Click here for funding information

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you will have to get funding to pay for your university course. You have to apply to Student Finance

Touch here to find out how to deal with the household income questions as an ‘independent student’ (care leaver)

You are entitled to £2,000 if you are between 18 and 21 and are doing a course of higher education at a college or university. Contact your Personal Adviser or your support person where you’re studying to help you apply for this

Additional money you may be entitled to if you are going to go to university


How to open a bank account


If you are getting into debt contact any of these organisations for advice on how to deal with it:

Citizens Advice

Step Change

National Debtline


Charities you can contact to apply for grants to help you:

The Spark Foundation

Rees Foundation (you can also contact them to apply for a crisis payment for immediate help)

The Capstone Care Leavers Trust

The Prince’s Trust