Care Leavers Local Offer
Cost of living information and support
Who can get this support?
To access support through this Care Leavers Local Offer you must have been in care
- For at least 13 weeks between the ages of 14 and 16 (including your 16th birthday)
- For 13 weeks after your 16th birthday
- Because you were an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Child (UASC) who is in the process of seeking leave to remain
- NOTE: If you are a failed asylum seeker who is ‘Appeal Right Exhausted’ you will not be entitled to this support
If you are unsure if you meet the above criteria, check if you qualify with your Personal Adviser (PA).
Personal Adviser (PA) Support
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 says you can have support from your PA up to the age of 25, who will:
- Help you prepare to live independently
- Offer advice and support after you leave care
- Be involved in discussions about your needs and your Pathway Plan
What is a Pathway Plan?
This Plan is written by the Local Authority in consultation with you and important people in your life. It sets out your needs, views, future goals and exactly what support you will receive from us. We will review your Pathway Plan with you regularly so that it is kept up-to-date.
You might need extra support which your PA will discuss with you, if you:
- Have Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability;
- Are an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) and your immigration status is unclear;
- Are in or leaving custody, or you have had contact with the criminal justice system;
- Are a young parent;
- Are going through a difficult time in your personal life.
Provides an opportunity for you to work together to promote your views, values and opinions and is a way for you to be involved in the planning and decision making processes on matters that affect your life. You can be involved in the evaluation of services provided for you by Halton Borough Council. The CICC provides a safe space for children and young people in care to be listened to and help to achieve positive change.
For more information please contact: Becky Owen Tel: 0151 511 6729 or email Rebecca.Owen@halton.gov.uk
Who can Help?
Participation in Society
Leisure Activities & Local Groups
Leisure section has lots of information to help you get involved
Local Transport Information
Transport section has lots of information to help you get around
Volunteering & Getting involved
Local Community Centres , Libraries & Parks
Using the Internet Safely, Staying Safe, Sexual Exploitation
- CEOP Reporting Centre for staying safe
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection
- Digital Parenting Guide
- Get Safe Online
- Guide to Keeping Safe Online
- Grooming – Knowing the signs of child sexual exploitation – signs to spot it happening
- Internet Safety for Teens
- Internet Matters
- Keeping Kids Safe Online – O2/NSPCC
- Online Safety Resource Guide
- PACE – Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation and Parent’s Support
- Thinkuknow – CEOP’s
- Underwear Rule
- Parents Protect
Have Your Say
We want to make sure you achieve the best when you leave care and it is important we listen to what you have to say about the services you receive from us. There are many ways you can get involved, for example, you could…..
- Get involved in one of our local groups
- Children in Care Council (CICC) or care leavers group. These groups allow you to work together to promote your views, values and opinions and are a way for you to be involved in the planning and decision making processes on matters that affect your life. It’s also provides an opportunity for you to be involved in the evaluation of services provided for you by Halton Borough Council. The Children in Care Council provide a safe space for children and young people in care to be listened to and help to achieve positive change.
- Halton Youth Cabinet are another group that may be of interest to you
- Check out the Leisure Section – Halton’s Local Offer where you’ll find details of local activities/groups that you may wish to join
- Social worker or PA – you can contact tell to give your views
- Or you can complete a compliment and complaints form
Leaving Care before age 18 or 'Staying Put'
We will encourage you to stay in care until you are age 18. Most young people live at home with their families at this age. If you choose to leave care before age 18, the law says we must provide you with suitable accommodation.
When moving into different accommodation your PA will make sure that it is somewhere safe for you to live and fits in with your needs that will be found in your Pathway Plan.
We can give you a setting up home grant, to help you buy essentials for your new home, your PA, will help you find out how much you can get.
You should get help with your housing until you are 21, either from the local authority or through the benefits system. If you are in full time education, you can get help until you are age 25.
If you and your foster carers decide you want to remain with them, we can support you through a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement which can last until you are age 21. Your PA can help you with this.
Setting up your own home
When you first move into your own place you are entitled to a setting up home grant of £2000, this will help to get stsarted with furniture and decorating. Things you require to help to make your house feel like a home. The grant can be used for:
|TV||TV Stand||Washing machine||Fridge/freezer|
|Plates/dishes||Chopping boards||Laundry basket||Tea, coffee, sugar pots|
|Measuring jug||Iron and ironing board||Bin||Cooking utensils|
|Table and chairs||Toaster||Pans||Cups and glasses|
|Cutlery||Tea towels||Washing up bowl||Sofa|
|Curtains||Bed and mattress||Bedding, pillows and duvet||Bedroom furniture|
|Towels||Shower curtain||Bath mat||Soap holder|
Housing Associations and PropertyPool Plus
Housing Associations and PropertyPool Plus information can be found on the Housing and Adaptations page
Options to think about?
If you are aged over 18, your PA will help you to think about finding suitable accommodation, which might include:
- Lead tenancy – own house/flat, you will have a tenancy agreement which is a contract between you and the landlord of the property, which gives you and your landlord certain rights. You are responsible for paying the rent to your landlord and paying utility bills, such as gas, electric, water, TV license and food.
- Residential care – living in a house with other young people in care, there will be a team of professional staff that work shifts within the house to care and support you.
- Supported accommodation – this might be if you’re not ready to have your own ‘lead tenancy’, you’d be living in a flat or house with other young people with the support of adults.
If you are a Halton Care Leaver and remain living within Halton you will be exempt from Halton Borough Council Tax until your 25th birthday.
Your PA will help you to claim Housing Benefit/Universal Credit and to get your National Insurance Number.
How to get a TV Licence?
Easy Read Guide about a TV Licence
Education & Training
Help we can provide
The law says we must provide you with assistance with expenses linked with employment, education and training. This includes things like support to buy tools, equipment, essential clothing, books and help with costs for travel to training, school, college, apprenticeships or job interviews. Below you’ll find some other ways we can help.
16 to 19 Bursary Fund
Support to access the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund administered by Further Education Colleges which pays a bursary of up to £1,200 a year to help you to continue your education
Halton's Virtual School
The Halton Virtual School will provide support and advice and/or signpost you to other help available as needed
Higher Education Bursary of £2,000 if you want to go to university
Support if you choose to go to university, by helping you to choose the right course and university that matches your talents and interests.
We will help you to obtain tuition fees, maintenance loans, travel costs at the start and end of term and make sure you have somewhere to live during the holidays.
Halton Children Social Care will give you a £2000 bursary, paid in instalments to help with the cost of books and material. We will cover the cost of your student accommodation and can also provide financial support for resources, on an individual basis.
The law around what Social Care has to provide you is always being updated, we will give you the most current advice of what you are entitled to Entitlements and Rights
Apprenticeships Care Leavers’ Bursary
- The bursary is for eligible apprentices who are in care or are care leavers. It will help remove financial barriers to accessing and completing apprenticeships.
- The bursary is separate to the additional funding that employers and training providers can receive to support care leaver apprentices.
- Payment details and eligibility criteria can be found on the gov.uk website
Health & Wellbeing
Emergencies and Non-Emergencies - NHS 111, 999 or 101
In a medical emergency (e.g. self-harm or suicide attempt) always ring 999 or go to a hospital Accident & Emergency
For non-medical emergencies, contact the NHS on 111 for advice about your health
To contact the local Police in a non-emergency you can ring 101
Information about Health
Health is more than being healthy, eating healthy or doing regular exercise.
It’s your physical, mental and sexual health, including problems with alcohol or drug/substance misuse.
The Health section has lots of information, support and advice.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Halton’s Health Improvement Team have a useful Mental Health Information Point for you to access lots of different support
Want to find a GP, Dentist, local Chemist?
Prescriptions, Glasses or Dental Treatment up to age 18
Don’t forget you can get free prescriptions, glasses and dental treatment until the age of 18.
Drugs & Alcohol
Making Friends and Developing Relationships
Moving from foster or residential care into independent living is a big change for care leavers
You might feel excited and ready to move, have concerns about how you’ll support yourself, feel lonely or be worried about managing a household for the first time
You might want to reconnect with family members
You might want to socialise and interact with other care leavers due to a shared understanding of one another and shared experiences. Equally, you might wish to avoid any further association with the care system and will not want to be defined as a care leaver.
During this time, accessing social opportunities, such as sports, groups or volunteering to meet new people and make friends might help – your Personal Advisor can help you with these things
- Brook sexual health and wellbeing information for under 25s
Careers Information, Advice & Guidance
Discounted rate to Halton schools, colleges and education providers via 14-19Team@halton.gov.uk
Free for young people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, training or employment – contact a local Career Connect Connexions Adviser or email 14-19Team@halton.gov.uk for the access registration code to view resources e.g. job profiles, employer video tours, interviews with employers and lots more to help you decide on your career
Independent, professional and high quality careers and skills advice, available from age 13+ online or over the telephone. Adults have additional access to community-based face-to-face advice.
This directory is to support professionals working with young people to move on to Education, Employment or Training
Finding a job
Provides lots of information to help find a job e.g. Becoming an Ap prentice, Help with moving from Benefits to Work
Explore careers in healthcare
Riverside Housing and Generation Medics are providing a fully-funded online programme for eligible Halton residents interested in exploring and pursuing a career in healthcare.
See flyer for more details Halton programme delivered by Generation Medics-Riverside Housing
Moving from Benefits to Work
Provides help and advice on moving from benefits to work, work experience/volunteering, starting your own business and support available when you start working.
- NEW DWP Benefit Checker provides a quick idea of what you may be able to claim
- Benefit Calculator gives a more detailed picture of what you may be entitled to
- Understanding Universal Credit – making a new claim is another way to access the Benefit Checker
Access to Records
The law says that as a Care Leaver you have a right to see information we keep about you including files and records when you were in care, this is called ‘Access to Records’ or ‘Subject Access Request’ .
If you want access you can talk to your social worker or PA who will arrange for this to happen as it will require a Subject Access Records Application Form to be completed.
More information is available on the Halton Borough Council website
Children in Care & Care Leaver Services
Services available to Looked after Children
This information is being updated and will be replaced shortly
How 2 get your life together
This booklet was created by young people to help you think about what keeps you healthy, happy and well.
Easy to access tips for young people aged 16-25 moving into independent living – How2Adult Booklet
Help we can provide
We will try to help you financially, in a similar way to how parents support their own children for things like:
- If you live in Halton – you will be exempt from paying Halton Borough Council Tax;
- Tell you about money management training;
- How to access your Junior ISA, if you have one (this is a fund of money set aside by the Government and the Council);
- Support to set up a bank account, gain important identification documents e.g. Passport, provisional Driving Licence before your 18th birthday;
- Support to get your National Insurance Number;
- Provide you with a financial gift on your Birthday, at Christmas or other celebrations.
When you are 18, you will be responsible for paying your own bills, how much you pay depends on whether you are in education, employment or looking for work. These are some organisations that can help advice you:
- Citizens Advice Halton
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claim form/information for children under 16
- DLA for adults
- Ultimate Disability Living Allowance Guide
- DWP Disability Living Allowance video’s
- Disability Service Centre – benefits helpline
- Carer’s Allowance
- Benefits and financial support for families
- Attendance Allowance
- Contact for families with disabled children
- DWP Benefit Checker
- Benefit Calculator
- Understanding Universal Credit – making a new claim
- Universal Credit
- Access To Work Fund
- Benefits and Welfare Advice
- Council Tax and Benefits
- Household Support Fund
- Family Fund
- Family Fund – are you eligible to apply for a grant?
- Entitled To
- From Child to Adult
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Christians Against Poverty
- Money Advice Service
- (PIP) Personal Independence Payment
Everyday Banking Guide
Everyday Banking Easy Read Guide
Help with debt and money worries
The cost of living crisis is affecting more and more people. If you need help or advice about money, debt and other issues, there are organisations in Halton who can help.
- Citizens Advice Halton can help with a range of issues, not just around debt and finances but also housing, legal issues and much more Tel: 08082 787 956
- Energy Projects Plus (EPP) provide a Save Energy Advice Line for free and impartial advice on reducing your energy bills and keeping warm at home Tel: 0800 043 0151
- Mental Health Info Point can also provide more details of help and support for money worries