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OxfordshireChildren's Services Procedures Manual

Staying Put Post 18 Years Financial Policy

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This policy was added to the manual in July 2015 replacing the previous policy. It sets out the allowances available to Care Leavers post 18.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Financial Policy for ERFR in Independent Living

RELATED GUIDANCE

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 18yrs 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. Basic Needs
  2. Family and Social Contact
  3. Education/Training/Employment
  4. Identity, Leisure and Minimisation of Social Exclusion
  5. Health
  6. Accommodation
  7. Finance
  8. Other Grants Available
  9. UASC becomes Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARE)

 

All allowances should be based on an assessment of need and be set out in the young person’s Pathway Plan. The plan must also highlight any attached conditions, how payments will be made, the frequency of payments and when they will be reviewed.

1. Basic Needs

  • Five week grant at 18th birthday to ensure smooth transition between leaving care support and benefits if needed. Any further funding needed to cover transition due to delays in processing will be loaned to the young person, by signed agreement, and recouped on payment of benefits;
  • Provision or arrangement of a suitable and appropriate placement/ accommodation or the means to secure the accommodation up to the y/p 21st birthday. Staying Put providers will receive £232.00 per week which will comprise of Housing Benefit or young persons earnings for rent, y/p contribution of £30 for meals and keep, the remaining balance from OCC to support in the placement and utilities;
  • Clothing: £300 per year.

    Basic requirements are:
    • Winter coat;
    • Hat, gloves, scarf;
    • Waterproof shoes;
    • A second pair of shoes, probably trainers;
    • Socks, pj's and underpants;
    • Three jumpers/hoodies;
    • Three pairs of jeans/trousers/leggings;
    • Five T-shirts;
    • Two shirts/long-sleeved T-shirts;
  • Additional £50 per year for special shapes and sizes.

2. Family and Social Contact

  • Travel to see family (siblings, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunty). Intervals and arrangements must be documented in the Family/Social Contact Section of the Pathway Plan.

3. Education/Training/Employment

  • Interview/work/college clothes x 2 sets;
  • Haircut for interview;
  • Equipment for work;
  • Equipment/trips/uniform for college after all other funding applied for;
  • Stationery for the start of an education course: £20;
  • School/college/work bag: £15;
  • Additional EET related activity e.g. ball and or excursion dependent on attendance;
  • Travel for appointments/ interviews. If up front, needs to have attended;
  • Travel for those earning under £150 per week on the days they need to attend learning, volunteering or working. This can either be:
    1. A bus pass (applications for pass via educational institutions to be made where possible) or;
    2. A bicycle package including a bike, a helmet, lights and padlock. This would be supplemented by a bus pass in January and February.
  • Full-time work bridging grant of JSA/ISA equivalent per week for a maximum of 4 weeks while waiting for first salary payment;
  • EET Engagement Incentive: £30 FT activity, £15 PT for learning, working and/or volunteering that does not already attract a bursary or maintenance grant. This also enables financial support for y/p undertaking apprenticeships who may earn £2.50 per hour. (Incentive);
  • Driving Lessons 10: total £200 (y/p contributes £5 per lesson OCC contribute £15 -as an incentive and linked to relevant EET activity e.g. apprenticeship);
  • Please see separate University & 21 - 25years Education Funding Policies.

4. Identity, Leisure and Minimisation of Social Exclusion

Birthdays:

  • 19th, 20th: £30;
  • 21st birthday: £50 (additional money can provide a positive special memory or moment);
  • One recognised religious festival per year: £40;
  • Social activities/Leisure: Maximum of £50 per month (this can be for developmental courses, health and wellbeing and general interest);
  • Travel to access leisure activities and minimise social exclusion where appropriate on the days they need to attend;
  • Travel for those earning under £150 per week on the days they need to attend learning, volunteering or working. This can either be:
    1. A bus pass (applications for pass via educational institutions to be made where possible); or
    2. A bicycle package including a bike, a helmet, lights and padlock. This would be supplemented by a bus pass in January and February.
  • Summer activity grant: £100 per year (Incentive);
  • Birth certificate;
  • Passport. Photos included;
  • Travel documents based on assessment of need and only where the young person is travelling immanently and do not have a passport from their country of origin;
  • Citizenship dependant on length of time in country and individual circumstances (senior manager approval);
  • Provisional driving licence:
    1. For ID purposes: if no passport then driving licence;
    2. For driving purposes: only if the young person can demonstrate they can afford lesions;
  • First driving practical test (check with instructor that ready). Can be used as an (Incentive);
  • First driving theory test. (Incentive).

5. Health

18years low income - HC1 form needs to be undertaken.

Dental contribution by OCC of half if necessary/essential work is needed e.g. not cosmetic whitening treatment.

Optical: Prescription glasses/contact lenses top up £40.

6. Accommodation

  • Suitcase/rucksack: £30;
  • Placement change relocation costs;
  • Young people staying put are expected to apply for Housing Benefit in order to pay the rent contribution to the placement or pay for their rent out of their earnings from employment.

Deposits & Grants

Deposit and rent in advance can be offered, where necessary and appropriate. It is intended that this money will move with the young person from house to house and not be repaid. Where this is requested, it will be authorised through supervision. Where ever possible the Lord Mayors Deposit Scheme is to be accessed for private sector deposits.

City of Oxfordshire Charity for help towards educational costs, sickness help and general housing grant help.

City of Oxford Charity,
The Office,
Stones Court,
St Clements,
Oxford,
OX4 1AP.

In certain circumstances when moving on from the Staying Put placement, CE&F's can act as a rent guarantor on behalf of a young person, where there is no family member willing/able to do so. There should be a clear contract establishing the maximum guarantee which must be authorised by an Area Service Manager.

Social Worker or the Personal Advisor will undertake a Suitable Housing Checklist in order to determine suitability of accommodation (as required under Schedule 2 to the Care Leavers Regulations 2010 and Schedule 6 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010).

Setting Up Home Allowance at the point of moving on

Please refer to Care Leaver Financial Policy for those in semi or independence.

Service Charge/Budgeting

Care leavers Staying Put are expected to contribute money £30 per week towards their keep (includes meals) in placements to help with budgeting readiness for independence.

7. Finance

Other income/Savings and Criminal Compensations

In line with benefits, any savings or capital under the lower savings limit of £6,000 will be disregarded. This includes the first £6,000 of any Criminal Injuries Compensation awards the young person might receive. Savings above £6,000 will be taken into account at the rate of £1 deduction per £250 unless the money is held in a trust fund or otherwise non-accessible or limited-access account.

Payment Methods

In order to support young people to make a successful financial transition to adulthood they should be assisted to open bank accounts and, where possible, all allowances should be paid via BACS into their bank account.

8. Other Grants Available

1 x crisis or care loan can be accessed in a twelve month period from the Oxfordshire Support Fund administered by OCC therefore we cannot rely on this as previously we have. This fund will need to be our safety net for y/p to draw on when they are really in emergency need.

The Prisoner Funder Directory give information on varies grants and initiatives available to vulnerable people

9. UASC becomes Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARE)

Young people who become ARE and are Human Rights Assessed as having a barrier to return to their country of origin will receive support. This support can be granted whilst an Assisted/Voluntary Return Package is arranged, until the barrier to return is removed, until 21yrs or until returned to their country of origin whichever comes first.

Allowance: £35.30 pw (Matched to NASS S4 levels for All Appeal Rights Exhausted Asylum Seekers) where determined needed by Human Rights Assessment. This money pays for essential toiletries, food and entertainment.

Clothing: £150 per year, assessed within Pathway Planning.

Basic requirements are:

  • Winter coat;
  • Hat, gloves, scarf;
  • Trainers;
  • Socks, pj's and underpants;
  • Two jumpers/hoodies;
  • Three pairs of jeans/trousers;
  • Five T-shirts.

Maternity grant of £250 (matches S4 Asylum support amount) Available from 8 weeks before the ‘due date’.

Pregnant mother can receive and extra payment of £3 per week.

Parent with child under 3 yrs can receive an extra £5 per week.

Leisure: ARE y/p are encouraged to attend leisure activities that are provided by Asylum Welcome and other free community activities.