Young People's Zone

Are you a care leaver?

Sometimes it can be very complicated to know exactly what support you should be getting from Children’s Services.

We have tried to make things a bit easier for you. By answering the questions below you will be taken through the maze of the leaving care system and will hopefully learn more about how you can be supported.

If you would like to know more about your rights, please call us on Freephone number 0808 800 5792 or email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

How old are you?
Are you in care?
Were you in care on or after your 16th birthday?
Have you been in care for at least 13 weeks since you were 14?
Are you still in care?
Was your move back to your family a planned move?
Were you in care before you moved back home?
Were you in care on or after your 16th birthday?
Were you homeless before you were 18 and did you go to Children's Services or the Housing Department?
Were you in care for at least 13 weeks since you were 14?
Were you in care when you turned 18?
Are you under 21?
Are you in education or training?
Do you want to return or have you returned to education or training?
Are you under 25?

Sometimes young people are in contact with Children's Services before their 18th birthday, but they are not looked after by Children's Services.

If you were in contact with Children's Services before your 18th birthday and ask for their support, you may still be entitled to help from them, in particular if you were homeless at some point before you became an adult.

These are very complex situations. You may want to contact Coram Voice to discuss your situation and to see if you can still claim support from Children's Services.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

If you are under 16 years old you are not a care leaver. As you are a looked after child, you should get support from Children's Services.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

You are what the Leaving Care Act calls an Eligible Child. This means that you are still a looked after child and Children's Services should continue to work with you as before, although they should start preparing you to live more independently.

Children's Services must:

  • Listen to your wishes and feelings
  • Appoint you a personal adviser
  • Make an assessment of your needs
  • Prepare a care plan and a Pathway Plan
  • Review your Care Plan and Pathway Plan
  • Pay for your accommodation
  • Pay for your subsistence

Please click here to read more about what it means to be an eligible child.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

Sometimes young people are in contact with Children's Services before their 18th birthday, but they are not looked after by Children's Services.

If you were in contact with Children's Services before your 18th birthday and ask for their support, you may still be entitled to help from them, in particular if you were homeless at some point before you became an adult.

These are very complex situations. You may want to contact Coram Voice to discuss your situation and to see if you can still claim support from Children's Services.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

You are what the Children (Leaving Care Act) calls a Former Relevant Child, who is returning to education before the age of 25.

If you present yourself to Children's Services they must:

  • Appoint a personal advisor*
  • Undertake an assessment* of needs within three months of you telling them that you are back or want to be back in education or training
  • Prepare a Pathway Plan* that includes
    • How much contact and personal support you will get
    • A detailed plan for your education or training
    • How Children's Services will help you in relation to employment or other purposeful activity or occupation.
    • Contingency plans for the case of your Pathway Plan* not working out
  • Help you with expenses connected with your work, education or training
  • Contribute towards living expenses near to your education or training
  • Provide or pay for accommodation during college or university holidays if you are studying away from home.

These duties continue as long as you continue to pursue the educational programme set on the Pathway Plan*. There is no set age for this support to end. What matters is when you finish your studies or training.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

You are what the Children (Leaving Care Act) calls a Former Relevant Child. Children's Services still have duties towards you.

The law says that Children's Services must:

  • Listen to your wishes and feelings
  • Provide you with a personal adviser
  • Review your Pathway Plan
  • Help you with expenses connected with your work, education or training
  • Provide or pay for accommodation during college or university holidays if you are studying away from home
  • Provide you with other support by buying the items you need directly or, in exceptional circumstances, by giving you cash, to the extent that your welfare and education needs require it
  • Contribute towards living expenses near to employment, education or training
  • Give you a £2,000 grant if you are in higher education
  • Keep in touch with you
  • Visit you regularly

Children's Services may:

  • Consider making a contribution to post-graduate courses
  • Assist you identifying financial support and resources to enable you to undertake post graduate study

You are expected to claim benefits or apply for a student loan as any other young person.

Please note that it is important that your Pathway Plans sets out your programme of education if you are aged over 21.

There is no set age for this support to end. What matters is when you finish your studies or training.

Please click here to read more about what it means to be a former relevant child.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

You are what the Children (Leaving Care Act) calls a Relevant Child. This means that you were looked after for a relevant period of time, but are not looked after anymore.

The law says that Children's Services must:

  • Listen to your wishes and feelings
  • Appoint you a personal adviser
  • Make an assessment of your needs
  • Prepare a Pathway Plan
  • Review your Pathway Plan
  • Find you somewhere suitable to live
  • Pay for your accommodation
  • Give you money for your subsistence
  • Keep in touch with you
  • Visit you regularly

Please click here to read more about what it means to be a relevant child.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

You are what the Children (Leaving Care Act) calls a Qualifying Child. Children's Services must:

  • Give you advice and support
  • Keep in touch with you
  • Provide or pay for accommodation during college or university holidays if you are studying full-time away from home, up to the age of 25.

Children's Services may:

  • Find you somewhere to live in exceptional circumstances
  • Provide you with other support by buying the items you need directly or, in exceptional circumstances, by giving you cash, to the extent that your welfare and education needs require it
  • Give you a grant to pay for expenses related to your education, training and work needs up to the age of 25
  • Contribute to living expenses related with your education and training, up to the age of 25.

Please click here to read more about what it means to be a qualifying child.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

It seems that you are not in care nor are you a care leaver. If you think that Children's Services should help you, you can contact us.

Also, if you had contact with Children's Services in the past and you are unhappy with the services that you received, you may want to make a complaint.

If you are disabled or have other special needs you may be entitled to services from the Children with Disabilities Team or Adult Services. Coram Voice may not be able to work with you but we can always signpost you elsewhere. You may need to contact your local Benefits Agency and Housing Department. There are also some organisations that might be able to help you. Coram Voice has contacts for some of them, so you might want to contact us.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

It seems that you are not sure of what support you received and what support you can ask from Children's Services. You may be entitled to help from Children's Services.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

If you are under 18 years old and things are difficult for you, you may be able to get support from Children's Services as they should be helping you to do as well as you can.

If you would like to know more about your rights, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.

If you are under 18 and homeless, Children's Services must help you. It does not matter if you go to Children's Services or the Housing Department. If you go to the Housing Department, they should refer you to Children's Services.

If you went to Children's Services or Housing as homeless when you were under 18 and Children's Services did not help you, you can ask for support even if you are now over 18.

Your Rights

When you are homeless and under 18, Children's Services must provide you with accommodation if:

  • You need support
  • You need somewhere to live because there are no adults ensuring you have safe accommodation

If that is your case, Children's Services must look after you and:

  • give you somewhere to live
  • make sure you are safe
  • look at what you need to do well (eg. look at what is happening with your education, health and finances)
  • listen to you
  • make sure you have the help you need with all the above

You do not have to live in a foster placement or a children's home if you don't want to. You can live in semi-independent accommodation.

You should be looked after by Children's Services from the date that you go to them (or the Housing Department) to ask for help about being homeless. Being looked after is very important now and also in the future as you will become a Care Leaver, which means that you will:

  • have some help from Children's Services, even after your 18th birthday, with the things you need to do well
  • be closer to the top of the housing list
  • have some money to set up your own flat

Children's Services should not just send you to the Housing Department and tell you to apply for benefits.

Sorted and Supported, published by Coram Voice, is a guide for all young people leaving care, designed and written for young people with all the information you need regarding financial support and young people's rights under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. This booklet is free for young people.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of Sorted and Supported, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate. The lines are open from 9.30am to 6pm with an answer phone at other times. You can also email us at help@coramvoice.org.uk.