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OxfordshireChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Care Leavers 21-25 Years Returning to Employment, Education or Training

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This policy was added to the manual in July 2015 replacing the previous policy. From April 2011 previous Former Relevant Care Leavers aged 21 - 25 yrs may request to re-engage with services in order to pursue education or training. This policy is to provide guidance on assessing written requests for support and considerations for decision-making.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Financial Policy for ERFR in Independent Living

RELATED GUIDANCE

This document has been informed by The Children Act 1989, Guidance and Regulations, Vol 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers

List of payments expected to be covered as essentials by the Local Authority for Post 18years Staying Put Arrangements.

'Care leavers are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion because they will have to make their transition to adulthood much earlier than most other young people. Local authority financial policies should aim to mirror the types of support that families provide, to be flexible to the differing needs of care leavers and to be aware of the fact that they are often being required to be financially capable and competent early in their adulthood. Local authorities should support looked after children and care leavers to manage their financial resources and money, gradually helping them to take responsibility for themselves, but recognise that the process of successful learning may involve learning from mistakes, taking risks and a requirement that a second chance with related financial support may be required'.

Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Eligibility
  3. What is meant by 'Education and Training'
  4. Assessment of Support Needs
  5. Decision Making
  6. Young Person's Application
  7. Other Funding and Useful websites

1. Purpose

From April 2011 previous Former Relevant Care Leavers aged 21 - 25 yrs may request to re-engage with services in order to pursue education or training. Young people making this request are entitled to an assessment (within 3 months) of their needs from the Local Authority to undertake the programme.

If the request is supported the young person is entitled to:

  • Personal Adviser;
  • Pathway Plan;
  • Assistance (to the extent that education or training needs require it);
  • Financial assistance (this will depend on the course and money the young person already has).

This policy is to provide guidance on assessing written requests for support and considerations for decision-making.

All packages of agreed support and assistance must be formalised within a Pathway Plan and regularly updated.

2. Eligibility

This policy applies to all previous Former Relevant Care Leavers (21+) who are eligible to access courses, and where relevant, student finance as Settled Home Students up until the age of 25years as agreed as appropriate within Pathway Planning.

Those who are 'settled' in the UK and meet the main residence requirements

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You must be settled in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  2. You must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  3. You must also have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the full three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course - e.g., if your course begins in October 2013, you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2013; and
  4. The main purpose for your residence in the UK and Islands must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of that three-year period.

Settled

'Settled' means being both ordinarily resident in the UK and without any immigration restriction on the length of your stay in the UK. The regulations refer to immigration law for the definition of 'settled'.

If you have the Right of Abode (including those people who have this by virtue of a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode), or Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain (ILE/R), in the UK, then you are 'settled'. If your passport describes you as a 'British citizen', then you also have the Right of Abode and are, therefore, settled.

Nationals of other European Union (EU) member states who have acquired the right of permanent residence under EC law are also settled but will not generally qualify under categories which require 'settled' status. Such people can qualify under other categories, if they meet the appropriate criteria.

You are not 'settled' if:

  • You have a time limit on the length of your stay in the UK, as shown by your current immigration permission (i.e. you have a 'limited leave');
  • You are exempt from immigration control, for example you are living in the UK as a diplomat or a member of their household/family;
  • You have a type of British passport that does not give you British citizenship, e.g. British National (Overseas).

3. What is meant by ‘Education or Training’?

The law says that the definition of ‘education or training’ must be interpreted broadly and could include a range of opportunities e.g.:

  • Basic skills courses - so you have the skills to help get a job (e.g. numeracy and literacy skills);
  • Vocational training and apprenticeships;
  • Courses in Further Education;
  • University courses;
  • Post graduate Qualifications.

4. Assessment of Support Needs

The local authority should carry out an assessment of needs within 3 months of receiving the request for support. This can be undertaken by the previous worker or duty worker in consultation with the young person and the virtual school once the written request has been received.

The assessment should consider:

  • What the young person wants to achieve overall/long term goals & aspirations and explore how this could be done;
  • Whether this request is for the right course for them and what the young person has done so far in preparation. Motivation and commitment to the course;
  • Information recorded in previous Pathway Plans up to age 21 or when they left the service regarding skills the young person has and previous education, employment and training experiences;
  • How the education or training will help the young person to find employment in the future;
  • The financial situation/ funding needed to fund the course and other support to enable them to access and sustain the programme, including any other funding sources accessible to help with the costs of education or training.

5. Decision Making

The following process needs to be completed within 3 months of the request being made by the young person:

  • Young people will submit their request to the Leaving Care Duty Worker in their area or their former worker. The assessment considering the points above can be undertaken by the previous worker or duty worker in consultation with the young person and the virtual school once the written request has been received;
  • Conversations for quality assurance must be held with Assistant Team Manager LAC/LC and/or EET Coordinator prior to authorisation being granted;
  • Team Managers approve or decline proposal once thorough plan with costs has been finalised. Allocation of worker can be identified in principle;
  • Area Service Managers then undertake final approval before formal written notification of outcome is sent to the young person.

6. Young Person's Application

Young people don’t have to have decided exactly what education or training they would like to do — the law says they can get in touch with their local authority for support if they are ‘wanting to pursue education or training’ — thinking about it but not yet decided — in this case the assessment will help work out with the young person what their best option is.

Application/Request for support with re-engagement with EET, to be completed by young person

Request for support to engage in education or training aged 21 to 25 years.

Please answer the questions below and return to your Leaving Care Duty Worker.

What is the name of the programme you are hoping to study?

 

 

What level of qualification is this programme?

 

 

Is this programme full-time or part-time (please tell us how many days or hours per week it is)?

 

 

How long will the programme last?

 

 

Where will you study this programme?

 

 

Please tell us your reasons for wanting to study this programme: how it fits with your long term goals and aspirations and how it relates to things you have done either in the past or more recently.

 

 

Please tell us what you have been doing over the last few months to prepare yourself for doing this course and meeting the challenges of attending regularly and managing your life alongside this study?

 

 

How much will the programme cost? Please list all costs including any fees, enrolment, kit, equipment or travel costs.

 

 

What other funding will be needed? For example, money for rent or living expenses?

 

 

How are you planning to meet any of these costs?

 

 

7. Other Funding and Useful websites

The Helena Kennedy Foundation provides financial, and other, support to a particular group of people who are not eligible for student loans in the usual way; specifically, it supports asylum seekers, those with Discretionary Leave, and/or the family members of such people. It does this through its Article 26 Project awards scheme. You need to meet certain eligibility criteria and you must be studying, or planning to study, on an undergraduate degree programme at one of a specific number of English universities.

Student Finance: for all forms and guidance for registration and application for funding.

The Who Cares Trust: guide to HE specifically for care leavers.

National Careers Service: How to contact qualified careers advisers for Information Advice and Guidance, and a whole host of careers tools and information.