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6.7.3 Pathway Financial Arrangements for Former Relevant Young People who have Left Care Aged 18+

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

For the purposes of this chapter, ‘left care’ means left residential or foster care irrespective of the young person’s legal status.

AMENDMENT

This document was reviewed throughout in December 2016 and updated as required.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Guidance


1. Introduction

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 made Children’s Services financially responsible for all young people leaving care until their 18th birthday and for some young people who are in education or training up until 24.

The financial arrangements outlined in this document are intended to be used as a guide. Individual circumstances should always be taken into account when making decisions about a young person’s finances and should also be identified in the young person’s Pathway Plan.


2. Guidance

These arrangements should be read in conjunction with the Pathway Finance Grid, which includes details of current maximum amounts that can be paid for different situations and are updated annually.

Bank Account

Young people should have their own bank account and be developing the skills to manage their own finances. Pathway workers shall advise young people on how to manage their account.

Incentive Payments for Education or Training

Any incentives that were in payment prior to the young person’s 18th birthday should be tapered off over the 6 months following their birthday, to nil by the time they are 18½ years old. They may also be entitled to:

  • Assistance with travel, such as purchase of a bicycle or a bus pass if necessary;
  • Financial assistance toward clothing or equipment or other associated costs of their course.

Higher Education

Pathway will offer financial support for one course of higher education. Pathway funding will be paid in the same way as National Funding, e.g. the length of the course plus one year.

Care leavers who attend a full-time Higher Education course are entitled to a one-off HE Bursary of £2000. The young person and their Pathway worker decide how and when this money is paid; it is recommended that it is not paid as a lump-sum, but rather in instalments over the course.

Pathway is able to pay University accommodation costs, for campus student accommodation or equivalent Student house arrangement.

The Pathway ETE officer will advise and support the young person to apply for grants, loans or bursaries available from Student Finance, the individual HE establishment and Care Leaver trusts.

  • Pathway can support the cost of travel to University open days and interviews;
  • Pathway can offer assistance with transport of belongings to and from University;
  • On completion of the students degree Pathway will contribute to the Cost of Cap, Gown and graduation photographs.

In order to support care leavers in higher education the Pathway ETE officer will liaise with Tutors / support services to ensure the young person receives all possible support to successfully complete their course.

Exceptions:

  • Qualifying young people will not automatically be entitled to higher education financial support;
  • Qualifying young people are entitled to an assessment of their needs, to establish whether they require advice and assistance. Where following assessment by a qualified person support is identified as required over a period of time, a plan will be completed to outline the support to be provided, including if necessary any financial support agreed.

Post Graduate Courses

Following a needs assessment, Pathway can assist young people to identify financial support and resources to enable them to undertake post graduate studies.

Pathway will pay a one off bursary £2000 only.

Accommodation Costs

Care Leavers 18 years and over are responsible for their own accommodation costs, via wages or Housing Benefit. In an emergency a one-off payment may be considered to secure a roof over their head. The exceptions to this are:

  • Care Leavers who begin an agreed full-time Further Education course after their 19th birthday. They will not be entitled to welfare benefits or Housing Benefit.  In these circumstances, Pathway can agree to assist with living allowance and rent, providing this is agreed prior to the course commencing;
  • Care Leavers who are on a full-time Higher Education course. Pathway will pay for term-time and holiday accommodation up to an agreed monthly amount;
  • Young people Staying Put, (see Staying Put Policy for details).

Setting Up Home Grant

This is a discretionary grant which is used for helping a young person to set up a home. The current grant is set at £2,250. In accordance with good practice, no more than £1,750 should be spent on a young person’s first move, as some money needs to remain in “their pot” as a contingency for any later moves or replacement of worn-out items.

TV Licence

The Pathway Service will purchase a young person’s first TV licence from the SUHG. Young people will be helped to set up an appropriate payment plan to save up for their next TV licence.

Home Contents Insurance

Pathway will pay the first year’s contents insurance when a young person moves into their own property. Beyond this the young person is encouraged to set up a payment scheme to continue to insure their possessions.

Interview Clothing

Young people can be supported to get interview clothing or appropriate clothing for work.

General Clothing

Young people can make requests for financial assistance toward clothing but they are not entitled to a regular clothing grant. Decisions to grant requests by the manager are based on need and positive life choices.

Health Needs

Reasonable financial requests which support a young person to maintain their health will be granted. Requests for extra help, for example toward the cost of glasses on top of any benefit entitlements, will be considered by the Manager. Specific needs which incur additional cost to a young person such as specialist hair care or skin care products will also be considered.

Social Cultural and Leisure Activities

Young people are encouraged to take up social, cultural and leisure opportunities and where appropriate be provided with financial support following discussion with their Pathway worker.

Young people are entitled to gym Membership at the CYC ‘Energise’ gym.

Hair Care

Young people are not automatically entitled to financial support for hair care. However, requests for cultural or religious reasons made by young people for help toward the cost of a haircut will always be considered. Decisions on whether to provide financial support will be made by Pathway workers following discussion with the Practice Manager.

Holidays

Young people who have left care are not entitled to a holiday allowance. However, as a reward for making positive life choices young people at the manager’s discretion may in some cases receive financial support toward a holiday?

Christmas Allowance

Young people who have left care are entitled to receive the following in the form of vouchers:

  • Over 18 £30.00.

Young people can request this allowance is paid instead for another religious festival.

Birthday Allowances

All young people who have left care are entitled to receive £100.00 on their 18th and 21st birthdays and £50 for 19th and 20th birthdays. No birthday allowances are payable beyond their 21st.

Passport

For purposes of identification, young people need to have a passport. Pathway are able to pay for one passport either, first, or a replacement.

Driving Licence and Lessons

Pathways are able to provide a Provisional Driving Licence and up to 10 driving lessons for Care Leavers. However, this needs to be as part of the Pathway Plan and agreed in conjunction with the Pathway Worker and Manager. Young people are expected to have the means to fund the 5 lessons (usually the first 5 as they can generally get an introductory reduction).

Contact Costs

Contact with family members, friends or significant others will be financially supported whenever deemed appropriate following discussion between a young person and their Pathway worker and as outlined in their Pathway Plan. There is a limit to the amount of contact money available to each young person on a monthly basis.

Maternity Grants

Pregnant young women who have left care are eligible to apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant, a lump sum which does not need to be repaid - a claim can only be made once the baby is born (for same reasons as above). To assist young parents to prepare for the birth of the baby, the Pathway Service will provide a loan, up to the equivalent of the maternity grant amount, on the condition that the loaned money is repaid.

Child Care Costs

Young parents are entitled to apply for a Care to Learn grant to help with nursery fees if they are intending to undertake a full or part time college or training course of any duration. In some circumstances the Pathway Service will contribute toward child care costs such as nursery fees if this grant is unavailable and is agreed between the Pathway worker and the Manager.

Recognition of Personal Achievements

When a young person makes significant personal progress or achieves a personal success, whether this is academic or other, this may be recognized by the Pathway Team, with a one-off payment.

Participation / Consultation Work

Young People can be paid for their time when involved in consultation, recruitment interviews, designing publicity materials, in relation with the Pathway Service. This is in acknowledgement that workers are paid for their time, for the same tasks and young people should not be disadvantaged.

Young People in Custody

Young people in custody will receive £20 per month, in the form of a postal order. Young people in custody are encouraged to engage in education and training offered by the prison to earn extra money.

Alternate Funding

Pathway workers need to ensure all financial avenues have been explored when developing a financial package of support for a young person by:

  • Applying for education grants;
  • Exploring whether an education or training provider or employer provides financial assistance toward clothing, equipment, travel or child care costs;
  • Applying for charitable funds;
  • And by maximising a young person’s welfare benefit entitlements.

Emergency Payments

Requests for emergency payments are considered on an individual basis. The Pathway worker or Manager will decide whether a cash payment is made or a young person is taken shopping or vouchers are given for essential food items.

End