Other financial support for care leavers

Maintenance payment if you are living independently

Young people under the age of 18 who are looked-after, are not eligible for benefits but can receive a weekly maintenance payment.

If you are aged 16-18 and:

  • Living independently and
  • Looking for work, or in education or training

we will pay you a weekly allowance at the same rate as Income Support/Jobs Seekers Allowance rate for a young person under 25.

To receive the maintenance payment you must be:

  • In education or training
  • Unemployed and working hard to find a job

Your personal advisor can help and support you with finding work, but if they think that you are not trying to get a job, your maintenance payment can be cut by 60% until you demonstrate you are making an effort.  This is because we want to help prepare you for what the Department for Work and Pensions will do once you are 18.

You are also entitled to receive the maintenance payment if:

  • You are working but your income is less than the current Income Support/Job Seekers rate. We will top up your earnings to that amount.
  • You are living with a partner

Learning to drive

We will pay for your provisional driving licence.

We will pay for up to 20 hours driving lessons from a driving instructor who is approved and registered with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, as long as you have a provisional licence and you agree to pay for every other lesson yourself.

Food vouchers

If you find yourself in a crisis and need support with getting some food you can ask your social worker or personal advisor if you could be provided with some food vouchers. Your worker would speak to a manager about whether this could be agreed. Your worker will need to talk to you to understand why the problem has happened so that we can support you to make sure it doesn’t happen again if possible.

We can also refer you to Foodbank who can provide you with a package of food items. There is a foodbank in Hereford city, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Ledbury, Bromyard and Kington.