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Care leavers

When you are 18 years old you will transfer to Youth Support Services who will support you.

  • Social workers and personal advisers work together to support care leavers aged 16 and 17 years old.
  • From the age of 18, a personal adviser will become your key worker. They will meet with you a least every two months.
  • Your personal adviser will continue to support you until you are 21 years old. If you are in education or training, they will support you to the age of 25.

Your personal adviser

Your responsibilities

Your personal adviser will help you to think about where you are now and your future aspirations. They will advocate on your behalf and refer you to other agencies that can help you.

Your personal adviser will help you with:

  • accessing education, training and employment
  • pursuing your interests and hobbies
  • attending open days and interviews, and applying for bursaries
  • arranging financial support if you are applying to university
  • assisting you with claiming benefits
  • supporting you with housing needs, including housing register application
  • identifying essential items for setting up home and helping you move
  • budgeting and independent living skills.

In addition:

  • you will receive a Pathway Plan Review every six months
  • you will receive £25 for birthdays and £25 in December (if you engage with Youth Support Services)
  • we will give you your first TV Licence - after this, it will be your responsibility
  • Complete a housing register form if you have not already
  • Apply for benefits a month before you are 18 if you are at college or unemployed
  • Apply for the 16 – 19 Bursary if you are at college - your personal adviser will give you a letter to support this.
  • Give your mobile number and bank account details to your personal adviser.
  • Keep in touch with your personal adviser – let them know of any changes to your situation and keep all appointments.

If you are living independently, you are responsible for your:

  • rent - if you are employed, you are responsible for paying this, if you are at college, apply for housing benefit and income support, If you are unemployed, apply for housing benefit and jobseekers allowance
  • council tax - if you are eligible, how much depends on your income and living situation
  • household bills - including phone, broadband, gas, electricity, insurance and laundry
  • food and clothes shopping
  • travel and social costs


It is a myth that at 18 years old you will automatically get a one-bed flat that is paid for. Make sure you apply to the housing register, or look at other options such as supported living arrangements, shared accommodation or renting privately.  


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