Rights and Entitlements Types of care leaver Sometimes it can be very complicated to know exactly what support you should be getting. Coram Voice provide a straightforward guide to work out your care leaver status in just a few questions and provide more information about your rights and entitlements. You can also click on the links below for information: Eligible Relevant Former Relevant Qualifying More information about your rights and entitlements: Who can I talk to? Young refugees, young asylum seekers, and young people without British citizenship (UASC) Care leaver rights Entitlements if you are a parent? Do you have a disability or additional needs Finance Policy Voting Eligible Your right to support as a care leaver will depend on when and how long you were in care. The words you need to look out for are ‘Eligible’, ‘Relevant’ and ‘Former Relevant’ which come from The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. ‘Eligible’ young people are in care aged 16 and 17 who have been looked after for (a total of) at least 13 weeks from the age of 14. As an eligible young person, you are entitled to: Accommodation and living costs A social worker and a personal adviser A detailed assessment of your needs A pathway plan which replaces your care plan, is completed with you, which is a record of what Milton Keynes Council will do for you Advice and support A Personal Education Plan (PEP) until you reach 18 with six monthly reviews Money to live on until you reach 18 and advice and support to manage your finances after this age Frequency of statutory visits agreed at your Child Care Review (CCR) Statutory reviews chaired by an Independent Reviewing Officer every 6 months until you are 18 A review health assessment every 12 months until you are 18 Opportunities for social activities, hobbies and cultural activities/outings Relevant ‘Relevant’ young people aged 16 or 17 who have already left care, and who were looked after for (a total of) at least 13 weeks from the age of 14, and have been looked after at some time while 16 or 17. As a relevant young person you are entitled to: Assistance in maintaining suitable accommodation A personal adviser A detailed assessment of your needs A pathway plan reviewed every six months Assistance to make sure that your needs in respect of education, training and employment are met Advice and support Visits from personal adviser within seven days of you moving to a new property and then every eight weeks Former Relevant ‘Former Relevant’ young people aged 18-21 who have been either ‘eligible’ or ‘relevant’ children, or both. If at the age of 21 the young person is still being helped by the responsible authority with education or training, he or she remains a former relevant child until the end of the agreed programme of education or training even if that takes him or her past the age of 21. As a former relevant young person you are entitled to: A personal adviser A pathway plan and six monthly reviews Assistance with education, training and employment Advice and support Visits from your personal adviser within seven days of you moving to a new property and then every eight weeks Financial support for equipment and costs for education A higher education bursary of £2000 if you are in higher education (University) Vacation accommodation costs if in higher education or residential further education Access to local health, dental and optician service Qualifying ‘Qualifying’ any young person aged under 21 (under 24 if in education or training) who ceases to be looked after or accommodated in a variety of other settings, was privately fostered, or was on a Special Guardianship Order after the age of 16. This includes: young people who left care after October 2001, at or after the age of 16, but do not qualify as ‘eligible’ children or young people. As a qualifying young person you are entitled to: Advice and support Financial assistance if assessed as needed Milton Keynes Council keeping in touch Advice and support with education, training and employment Advice and support with education and training up to 25 years old Care Leaver Local Offer This document has all the details of the Milton Keynes Local Offer to Care Leavers. Care Leaver Local Offer - October 2021 Care Leaver Local Offer - October 2021 (plain text) Who can I talk to? If you are preparing to leave care in Milton Keynes and are under 18 will have a social worker and should this should be the first person that you contact. When you reach 17 and a half a Personal Adviser will be allocated to you. Your social worker will introduce you to your Personal Adviser and they will work together with you until you have reach 18. Once you are 18 your Personal Adviser should be the person that you contact. Young refugees, young asylum seekers, and young people without British citizenship UASC Care leaver rights Young refugees, young asylum seekers, and young people without British citizenship who are care leavers maintain their status as care leavers no matter what is happening with their immigration status. Your immigration status and right to be in the UK are an additional need that Children’s Social Care should look at when making your care and Pathway Plans with you. It does not necessarily mean that you will not receive any services or that they will be different to those for other care leavers. If you are under the age of 18 years you will have exactly the same rights as any other looked after child approaching leaving care. If you want to stay in this county you have to make sure you seek legal advice from an immigration solicitor in order to extend your leave. Children’s social Care will support you with this. If you have been granted leave to remain on the basis that you are an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) then this is most likely expire at 17 ½ years of age. You will need to make a new application before then. Your Discretionary Leave will be extended if you get your new application in before it expires. If you are over 18 and you have leave to remain in the UK – for example. If you have been granted discretionary leave, humanitarian protection, indefinite leave to remain, or refugee status – you are entitled to receive full care support. Additional information can be found on the gov.uk website. Are you a parent? If you are a parent there is support available to help you. You may be entitled to claim the following things: Income support: If you are 16 or 17, have a child and do not work, you may be eligible to claim income support. Income support can be claimed from 11 weeks before you are due to give birth. However, if you are still at school or college you have to wait until your child is born before you can claim income support. Sure Start maternity grant: A Sure Start maternity grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help to buy the things that you will need for your baby. You do not have to pay this back. Statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance: If you are employed full time or part time when you have your baby you could be entitled to ‘statutory maternity pay’ from your employer or ‘maternity allowance’ from Job Centre Plus. How much you receive will depend on the length of time you have been employed and how much money you have been earning. If you are unsure ask your personal adviser for advice. Child benefit: Child benefit is a tax free payment that you can claim for your child as long as the child is living in the same household as you. You can claim this benefit no matter what age you are. Child and working tax credits: You can claim child tax credits if you have a child. The lower your income is, the more tax credit you get. If you are employed you might also be entitled to working tax credit too, which can help towards your childcare costs. Healthy start vouchers: Healthy start vouchers are free and provided weekly. They can be used to buy liquid milk, infant formula, or fresh fruit and vegetables. Do you have a disability or additional needs If you have a disability, you should be receiving services as a care leaver no matter what team is looking after your case. As with any other care leavers, Children’s Social Care need to plan for your adulthood. Your disabilities are just one particular need to be taken into account when making plans for you. Even if you are looked after by the Children with Disabilities Team and you are referred to Adult Disabilities or Mental Health Services, you will maintain all your rights as a care leaver. For example you will still be entitled to have a Pathway Plan and a Personal Adviser, even if you receive a care package from adult social care. This could mean that several teams must work closely together to support you. Further information contact the Children with Disabilities Team Finance Policy There is a finance policy which is a written statement that outlines what money you can expect to receive. You should receive a copy of this policy before you turn 18 and your personal adviser should use it with you to understand and apply for the funding that you are entitled to. When this policy is reviewed and you should receive any updated version of the policy when it is available. Should you have any questions or would like a copy of the finance policy please speak to your personal adviser. Voting Follow this link to register to vote.