The 18+ team will assign a Personal Advisor to you who is someone who will assist you, give advice and support you. Your PA will particularly help you in respect of education, training and employment and ensure you can access suitable accommodation. The service will continue to support you until you are 21years of age or longer if you remain in Higher education.
The 18+ Care Leavers Service are there to guide and support you when you leave care so you can achieve all that you would like to. We will do all we can to ensure you move successfully into adulthood and independent living. The best way to get the support you deserve is to speak to and work with your Personal Advisor!
Check out our Health Centre for all the information you need to know about your health.
Finances, Budgeting and Benefits
Managing your finances is one of the key skills which you will develop in the coming months and years. This is an essential skill which will help you to live a better quality of life with less stress.
There are a variety of benefits which the government offer to support you whilst you seek employment or to help you to pay for essentials if you are unable to work. It’s important that you claim the correct benefits for your circumstances; the best way to do this is by visiting:
Information about the different types of benefits available and how to apply for them
There is a lot of information and advice available to help you develop your financial management skills:
Huge amount of advice, information and tips on money management
So you may have an idea of where your money will come from but you still need somewhere to put it! For work, benefits and for your own peace of mind you will need to open a bank account if you don’t already have one. There are lots of different ways to do this, you can go online and fill in an application or you can go in to a branch and apply there. Either way you will need some documents to hand:
Who you are
Origional copy of birth certificate/Passport/Full driving licence
Where you live
Utility bill/ tenancy agreement
Where you work
Pay slip/ contact of employmemt/ letter from your employer
Where you study
Letter of acceptance from University (for student accounts)
There are lots of different types of bank account, you may want to apply for a current account first but for professional advice it’s best to speak to a teller in the bank.
Everyone has to think about how much money they have coming in versus how much money they have going out when living independently. In the most basic sense this is using budgeting skills. It’s important that you have enough money to cover all of your outgoings, it might be helpful to consider your income and what bills you are paying out by using these tables:
|Item (Outgoing)||Amount (£)|
|Rent or mortage|
|TV, Internet & Phone|
It’s easy to let your finances get out of control if you don’t manage them carefully. The best way to avoid debt is to ensure your bills are being paid on time, in full, each month. Try not to put things off, if you think you might struggle to pay one of your bills the first step is to contact the whoever the money is owed to. They will be able to talk this through with you and may suggest a repayment plan.
The worst thing to do is to ignore it, it won’t go away and in fact you may end up having to pay late fee’s or penalty charges.
If you are in debt it’s best to avoid any kind of pay day loan as the interest rates are high which means you don’t get a good deal. It’s best to seek help as soon as possible, the organisations below will be able to offer advice and support.
www.nationaldebtline.org 0808 808 4000
www.stepchange.org 0800 138 1111
www.citizensadvice.org.uk 0300 330 1313
Education and Employment
Getting yourself some qualifications is a positive thing, there are lots of courses and lots of methods of learning. If you are considering studying there is a huge amount of information available to you, both around choosing a course and how it might be paid for.
Click here to find all the information you could need about how to fund your studies.
You can find information on courses and qualifications here.
To find information on all the essential qualifications click here.
You can find information on essential skills like English and maths here.
Remember that there are a number of options around studying from community colleges and evening classes to university. To find out more information each institution will have it’s own website which will provide guidance on how to apply for a course
Earning your own salary will set you well on the way to being a successful, independent individual. It can sometimes be a challenge to navigate the job market and attend interviews but the rewards are worth it. You will need to ensure you have access to your national insurance number, if this has not already been organised please visit click here or call 0345 600 0643
The first thing you need when starting your job search is a curriculum vitae (C.V.) This is a short summary of all of your experience, qualifications and achievements. There are people who can help you to write a professional CV and lots of free help at the job centre. You can also download templates online from Education and training provider
When you are ready to start your search there are lots of places you can look, one of the most popular ways to find work today is by looking on the internet. Some sites that you may find useful are:
Training comes in lots of different forms, it might be a one off class or an apprenticeship, either way accessing training will improve your chances of finding a job and might open some new doors for you. There are lots of training opportunities available for young people from one off classes to courses to apprenticeships. You should try to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, you can find out more about training at the pages below.
How to find and apply for suitable apprenticeships
When you enter in to independent living there are lots of new challenges and responsibilities to take on board.
It’s really important that you know your rights and what will be expected of you. When you formally arrange to rent a property you will sign a tenancy agreement which will contain all the information you will need to know. A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your landlord and will contain specific information about how long your agreement lasts and how you can officially terminate it.
For more information on housing you can visit these websites.
Information about your rights and housing options
Information on housing and homelessness or call the Shelter helpline on 0808 800 4444
Information on eligibility and claiming housing benefits