What about money?
Until you are 18, the council must give you financial support to help you pay for the things you need to live on (for example for food, clothing, travel, hobbies and for your accommodation). They have to make sure that you are not any worse off than if you were on benefits. Once you are 18, if not in employment or full-time education, you can claim benefits. However, your local authority should continue to give you financial help (for example towards the costs of your education and training), if that is what they have agreed to do and is written in your Pathway Plan.
Your PA will be able to explain to you what financial support you are eligible for. Your Pathway Plan should say what money you will get, how it will be paid to you and any conditions attached to it, like attending college. If you leave care at age 16 or 17 you will not be entitled to claim benefits, like income support or Jobseekers Allowance but you will recieve a Setting Up Home Allowance and your accomodation will be paid for. Once you reach 18 you will be able to apply for certain beneifts. The council have set up a benefits pathway for Bristol care leavers, which means there will be a named person for you to contact in each Job Centre Plus and in the Benefits Processing Centre.
There is lots of ways to help you to learn about money and money management in a number of ways, for example a short course for care leavers, drop in sessions and online resources.
In the Bristol 'Local Offer for Care Leavers' , Bristol Local Authority states that they will try to help you financially and work with you while you're a care leaver to help you manage your money. This will include a range of practical and financial support and access to your savings.
- You can apply for up to 100% relief from council tax until your 25th birthday if you remain living in Bristol.
the council willl suppot you to open a bank account and give you information on accessing your Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund.If you are in crisis and have no money for food or electricity we may be able to help with emergency payments.
the council will support you to gain important identity documents such as a a passport and/or driving licence and help you set up a bank account.
the council will support you to get your National Insurance number.
the council can give you a finanacial gift at birthdays and Christmas, or ther celebrations.
Also in Bristol City Council's Pledge the Council promises to give you the pratical, financial and emotional support you may need to progress to further or higher education. There is emphasis on providing you with financial support to set up a home.
If you have a problem in regard to debt, arrears with housing, or financial problems with an employer you can contact a really useful service in Bristol called 'Ask Us' they give a range of advice on a number of issues for any young person up to the age of 25. They can also help with general housing issues, homelessnes, employment, discrimination, welfare benefits and support needs. Below is a link to their website.