Young People's Zone
What does it mean to be a qualifying child?
After the age of 16, the law gets a bit complicated because you are now a care leaver and different rules apply depending on your age and where you are living. The information below is for you if you are:
- Are aged 16 - 21
- Left care on or after your 16th birthday
- Before that you had been in care for less than 13 weeks since your 14th birthday
- A 'relevant child' who has returned home for six months or more
If this applies to you then the law says that you are a special category of care leaver known as being a “qualifying child” (the part of the law that says this is Paragraph 24 Children Act 1989).
(To check to see if you are a “qualifying child”, please see our ‘Are you a care leaver?’ page.)
As 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 also:
- 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 if your education and welfare 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.