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Young People’s Entitlements

This is a government document explaining young care leavers entitlements.

Finance

Local authorities must pay the Higher Education Bursary for all eligible care leavers.

  • A new 16-19 Bursary scheme will begin from the start of the 2011/12 academic year. Looked after young people and care leavers are guaranteed a £1,200 bursary if they continue in full-time education. Young people should get in touch with their education provider (e.g. school or college) to find out how to claim the bursary. For advice speak to student support services or your tutor, or go to www.direct.gov.uk/16-19bursary
  • All care leavers who are studying for a recognised undergraduate qualification as set out in their pathway plan are entitled to receive from their local authority a higher education bursary of £2,000. This bursary must be paid in cash. It will form part of the wider package of support which a local authority may provide.
  • The local authority cannot place conditions on how the bursary is spent. Local authorities should make sure that young people know this is available and how to obtain it.

Accommodation

  • In deciding whether accommodation is suitable for a care leaver to live in, a council must take into account the care leaver’s wishes and feelings about their accommodation, as well as whether the accommodation suits the care leaver’s needs and what the landlord is like. Matters of suitability for the local authority to consider are listed in the Regulations.
  • If the council arrange accommodation for a care leaver, they must do a review after the care leaver has lived there for 28 days – and at least every three months after that. The care leaver’s personal adviser must visit them in the first week of living there, and at least every two months after that, and also whenever their Pathway Plan is going to be reviewed.

Staying in Touch

  • Alongside on going advice and support and helping the care leaver to get services they need, a care leaver’s personal adviser must also take part in the reviews of the of their Pathway plan, stay in touch with the council about following the care leaver’s Pathway Plan until the young person is 21 or older if they are in education.
  • A care leaver must be given a copy of their assessment and their Pathway Plan and their plan and assessment must be fully explained to them.
  • Pathway Plans must be reviewed at least every six months. They must also be reviewed whenever the care leaver asks for a review (their personal adviser or the council can also decide a review should be done whenever they think one is needed).

Higher Education

  • From 1st April 2011, a change in the law means that care leavers up to age 25 who tell their council that they have returned, or want to return, to education or training, will also be able to have the support of a personal adviser while they are on their course (if the course is agreed in their pathway plan).
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