Care leavers: your finances and documents

We help with budgeting, provide allowances to help with essential purchases or emergencies, and help keep your important documents safe.

We will try to help you stay on top of your finances by helping you to budget and letting you know about opportunities to build on your budgeting skills. We may also give you access to certain allowances for things like your living costs if you are ineligible to claim benefit, a gift for special occasions such as a birthday or religious celebration, staying in touch with people who are important to you, buying essential items for your home, buying necessary equipment for education, training or work and helping you with the cost of going to university. In some circumstances we may also help you with the costs of childcare if this will enable you to access employment, education or training and this support is unavailable elsewhere. We may also agree to help you with things which we would consider as exceptional circumstances if we feel it is appropriate to do so. Before you receive this support, we will consider your circumstances and the assistance available to you already. If we do agree to financially assist you this will be based on your needs and recorded clearly within your pathway plan.

From April 2023 if you are a North Yorkshire care leaver you will be exempt from council tax within North Yorkshire Council, until you are 25. Please contact your worker or team to get a letter to confirm you qualify for the exemption.

If you still have some setting up home allowance available you can ask for this if you need it until you are 25, as part of your pathway plan or as one off arrangement under always here.

If you’re on a low income or claiming certain benefits we realise that money is tight. We will help you to maximise your income ensuring you’re aware of everything you are entitled to, child benefit and Universal Credit. If you are struggling to manage whilst waiting for a first payment of Universal Credit we can do one of three things to help:

  • provide you with a weekly living allowance which we will deduct from your setting up home allowance
  • provide you with a weekly living allowance which you pay back to us, once your payments come though
  • if you are eligible, help you to apply for an advance payment which will be deducted from your Universal Credit

Your important documents

You will need various documents and forms of identification to do things like applying for housing, applying to college, claiming benefits, opening a bank account and having ID in order to vote. To make sure you have everything you need we will support you with obtaining the following (if you have not already received these whilst you were looked after):

  • your national insurance number
  • your first passport or ARC card (application registration card if you are seeking asylum)
  • your birth certificate
  • a provisional driving licence if you need this for employment, education or training

We will keep copies of these documents and keep these safe for you if you request it, however, at certain times you will need the original documents, for example, when you set up a bank account. Once we have given you your documents, it is your responsibility to keep them safe and if you lose them, you will have to pay for replacements. If you don’t have a safe place to store your documents speak to your leaving care worker and we will discuss your best options to help keep the document safe.