Financial Support for 16 and 17 year olds
At this age you will not be able to claim benefits (with the exception of young parents and disabled young people), so Kent County Council will be responsible for paying your accommodation and living costs.
If you are in foster care, an agreement about the weekly allowance given to you by your carer will be agreed as part of your Pathway Plan. This will be reviewed every 6 months but should be at least £15 a week.
Your carer will also save an extra £10 a week for you in another savings account called a Junior ISA or a Child Trust Fund that you will be able to access when you are 18. Once you are 16, you can ask for this extra £10 a week to be paid directly into your own savings account if you are trying to save up for something specific before you are 18, like driving lessons. This needs to be agreed by you, your Carer and your Social Worker.
If you are living in supported lodgings or shared community living, you will still receive pocket money and savings if Kent County Council pays the provider for your living costs. This is called a maintenance payment. If Kent County Council doesn’t pay for this, you won’t receive pocket money and savings but will receive something called an Essential Living Allowance. This is worth £57.90 a week.
Education and Training
If you are aged 16 -19, you could be eligible for an education bursary of up to £1,200 to pay for clothing, books and other equipment for your course. This bursary can also be used to purchase a 16+ Travel Card to cover your travel costs. In exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible for further help if you need to travel outside Kent. Talk to your social worker if this affects you.
Birthday Money Allowance
On your 17th Birthday, you may be eligible to receive £30.
On your 18th Birthday, you may be eligible to receive £60
If you are in a placement where Kent County Council pays the maintenance to the provider, then agreement will be sought to give you this payment either though gifts, vouchers or cash.
You are entitled to up to £100 to put towards clothing. This is broken down into two payments of £50. If you are in a placement where Kent County Council pays the maintenance to the provider, then agreement will be sought to give you this payment either though vouchers or cash.