Managing your Finances
As a Care Leaver, you are entitled to financial support and advice. This will be different for each young person so it is important that you speak with your Social Worker or Personal Advisor. Occasionally young people find themselves in exceptional hardship or financial difficulties. Should this happen to you then your Personal Adviser will support you to resolve the situation. In time of exceptional difficulties, financial support may be offered but this will need to be agreed by the team manager for the Leaving and After Care Team.
Some of the financial support includes:
- Most young people who have been looked after by Bedford Borough Council will have their own bank account. We will make sure that you know the details of your bank account(s) and how you can access these. If you do not have a bank account, then we will support you to open an account.
- We will provide a leaving care grant to help you buy essential things when moving into your own home. The Leaving Care Grant that you can receive from Bedford Borough Council is £1750. This is not given to you all in one go; all payment will be arranged through your Personal Adviser when there are things that you need.
- We will support you to get your important identification documents, such as a passport and/or provisional driving licence, before your 18th birthday.
- For the time that you have been in the care of Bedford Borough Council we been saving money on your behalf. These savings will be kept in a bank account that is in your name that you can access after your 18th birthday.
- Bedford Borough Council also holds a Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund on your behalf through the Share Foundation. This money is available to you once you turn 18. Your Social Worker or Personal Advisor will discuss whether you wish to re-invest the money or receive it.
- Birthdays and celebrations are important times and we like to celebrate these with you by giving you a sum of money. For your 18th and 21st birthdays, we will give you a gift of £50 and for celebrations such as Christmas or Eid, we will give you a gift of £20.