Care Leavers

Have you already left care or are you about to? This page has support for you.

Get in touch...

Click to expandEast Team Contact Details

Ca​ll ​East Teams on - 01133783364
We're here: Mon to Thurs 8:30am to 5pm; Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
If you can't get ahold of your PA, call the number above and the Duty worker will be able to help you.

If you have an emergency outside of office hours, call the Emergency Duty number.​​​​

Click to expandSouth Team Contact Details

Call South Teams on – 01133781666

We're here: Mon to Thurs 8:30am to 5pm; Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
If you can't get ahold of your PA, call the number above and the Duty worker will be able to help you.

If you have an emergency outside of office hours, call the Emergency Duty number.​​

Click to expandWest Team Contact Details

Call West Team on – 01132477424

We're here: Mon to Thurs 8:30am to 5pm; Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm
 If you can't get ahold of your PA, call the number above and the Duty worker will be able to help you.

If you have an emergency outside of office hours, call the Emergency Duty number.​​

Click to expandEmergency Duty Team

Call Emergency Duty Team - 01132409536
We're here Mon-Thu​rs: 5pm - 8:30am; Fri-Sun: 4:30pm - 8:30am ​​

Click to expandLeave a Compliment/Complaint

Let us know how we're doing by contacting us to leave a compliment or complaint. 

Phone: 0113 395 0310 

Click here to download the Promise leaflet

Click to expandGet your case record

You can request a copy of the information held in your case record. This is called making a Subject Access Request.

The best thing to do is to talk with your PA about this. They can then request it on your behalf. ​​​​

A few definitions...

Click to expandWhat will happen when I turn 18?

When you turn 18 you are legally classed as an adult and will be independent.This doesn’t mean you will go unsupported.

In most cases, a young person leaving care is referred to as a Care leaver and you are no longer looked after.

As an adult, you will receive on-going support from a personal advisor until you are 21. Your personal advisor will meet with you regularly to work on your Pathway Plan. As a young adult, you can expect the right support to help you achieve your goals, for example, apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities, ready to work programmes, and more. 

Click to expandWhat can I expect from my personal advisor (PA)?

Your PA is not a social worker. Your PA will meet up with you regularly to support you. Because your PA is not a social worker, you don’t have to talk about anything that you don’t want to discuss.​ Their role is to support you in your transition to adulthood. They will work with you to help you achieve your goals.
-Your PA will meet up with you at least every 8 weeks, but this is likely to be more frequent.
-The PA is there to help YOU make informed choices about your future. They can offer advice about the best routes to achieve your goals and will be a reliable adult for you to get support from.
-Pathway Plan. They will also work with you to do a pathway plan. This is a live document which you and your PA can update as life changes. It helps both you and your PA consider the type of support that you most need and will help you measure your progress.

Out of contact?
If you have not been in touch with your PA but want help getting back into education before you turn 21, you can get in touch before your 21st birthday and get support again up to the age of 25. 

Click to expandI'm 21. What if I want to start education (or get back into education)?

If you get back into education, or start for the first time, before your 21st birthday, you can get in touch with the Leaving Care team and get support from a PA, including financial support.


Click to expandWhat is a Pathway plan and how does it help me?

Your social worker and personal advisor will begin your Pathway Plan with you when you're 15 and 3/4. 

The Pathway Plan helps you plan to achieve everything you'd like to with your life. And it lets your PA know where you'd like to be so they can support you as much as possible.

It should cover:
your opinions and wishes
education, training and development
contact with family
financial management (including guided spending)
making informed choices
personal development

Your PA needs to meet with you every 6 months to review and update the plan to make sure it's as up to date as possible. We know you might change your mind about where you'd like to be and what you'd like to do - and this might happen between meetings. If you've changed your mind, give us a call so we can talk about the changes and how we can support you.

Things that might be on your Pathway Plan:
If you want to get ready to live independently, you and your PA might do some work together on how to budget to make your money last, what kinds of bills you'll have to pay, and start applications for council housing or a flat. 

If your goal is to go to university, then your PA can help you look at your next steps to help get you there so you can achieve, for example, entry criteria qualifications you might need to get and what financial support you can access once you're there. ​

Click to expandWhat if I'm not getting the support I need?

If you think you're not getting the support you need, please get in touch with your PA first to let them know what you want and see if they can help.
If this doesn't work, you can ​get in touch with xxx to register a complaint.​ ​​

Click to expandWhere else can I get support? Who do I need to be in touch with?

As you leave care, you are now an adult and will need to learn to work with services on your own - for example, the NHS, Housing, Benefits office and other places like college or your work.

While you get support from your PA, they can help you with these things. This is a great chance for you to begin to do it on your own - let your PA hang back and see if you can sort it for yourself. 

Click on the link below to see other services who may be able ot help with different issues for you following leaving care. These are the same resources listed on your leaving care closure letter. ​​

Emergency and important numbers

Click to expandEmergency Numbers

Call 101
This number is for non-emergencies that still require assistance from police, ambulance, fire.
Call 111
This number is for non-emergencies that require medical attention quickly - when you think you might need to go to A&E. (See + button for Medical Care to find other places to get help.)​
Call 999
This number should only be used in an emergency. An emergency is when someone is at risk of getting injured, being threatened or a crime or is being committed and is in progress. The police should only be called on 999 when: There is a danger to life or a risk of injury being caused imminently. This number will take you straight to A&E and is for these injuries: 
-loss of consciousness
-acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
-persistent severe chest pain
-breathing difficulties or  

-severe bleeding that cannot be stopped​

All of these numbers are free to call. You don't need to have credit on your phone.Even if your phone doesn't have a SIM or is locked, you will be able to call an emergency service.

Click here for more information about when to call 101

Click here for more information about when to call 111 (NHS)

Click here for more information about when to call 999

Click to expandMedical Help when you're injured (not emergencies)

NHS Walk-in Centres can treat the following:
infections and rashes, blood pressure checks, fractures and lacerations, emergency contraception and advice, stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhoea, hay fever, insect and animal bites, stitches (sutures), dressing and care of minor cuts and bruises, minor burns and strains, stop smoking support.  
Minor injuries units and urgent care centres can treat:
sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries, injuries to the back, shoulder and chest​.  
See links below to find one near you...

Find an NHS Walk-in Centre near you

Find an Urgent Care/Minor Injurites Unit near you

Click to expandEmergency Gas number

If you can smell gas in your home call this number immediately.​

Click to expandHousing Emergency Out of Hours

If you are homeless in an emergency and it is outside of our opening hours – we operate an emergency service which you can access by telephoning:

Click to expandLeeds City Council Housing Repairs

If you have a tenancy with Leeds City Council, you can use this number to report any damages/repairs to your property and arrange for the problem to be solved.​​

Going to University

Click to expandSupport Picking a University and more...

Here are a few things to get you started if you're trying to decide which Uni to go to. 

Also, check out the Higher Education Handbook by the Who Cares? Trust, which covers all the issues you're likely to wonder about: 
Higher Education Handbook - Who Cares? Trust​​​​​

Want to know what you can do post-18?

HEART: Support for Care Leavers, including named contacts

Click to expandLeeds Maintenance and Accommodation Grants

The Maintenance and Accommodation Grants will help you to pay for the cost of going to university, including helping pay for a place to stay during vacations. They are only available if you are studying full-time. This includes the government bursary. You will be paid to you on a weekly or monthly basis, not as a lump sum. Leeds payments will continue to be paid for 4 weeks after your course has finished. 

Student Finance Maintenance Grant 
Care Leavers are eligible for a Maintenance Grant of £3,387 per year. This is your Maintenance Grant through Student Finance. 
Leeds Maintenance Allowance 
While you are studying, you will also get a maintenance allowance to help cover your costs, which includes your government bursary. 
 - £97.90 a week - if you have to pay for your own food 
- £57.90 a week - if you have food provided 
Leeds Accommodation Grant ​ 
The Accommodation Grant pays for your housing while you're studying, within reason. It is set at the correct rate for where you're living. Your PA will discuss this with you. 
You may not be planning to stay at your university housing over the summer or vacations, so let your PA know where you're going to be so they can make the right arrangements to cover you and your carer (or family member). ​​​

See links below for other places you can apply for extra funding for university. 
Welfare Benefits 
Usually, you will not be eligible for benefits while at university, except in unusual circumstances. Claiming these benefits will affect your Maintenance and Accommodation Grants through Leeds Children's Social Care, but it will not change your £2,000 Government Bursary. Talk to your PA about this.​ ​

Click here for Leeds Local Housing Allowance Rates

Extra Money to pay for University: GOV.UK

Click to expandDisabled Students' allowance, Childcare Grants, Parents' Learning allowance and more

You may qualify for an allowance if you meet certain criteria. Not everyone will get them. Talk to your PA for help with these. 
Disabled Student's allowance 
This funding is designed to help meet any extra course costs you might face as a result of a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. The allowance covers full-time, part-time and post-graduate study. It will be paid on top of your standard student finance package and doesn't have to be paid back. It can help with: specialist equipment, a non-medical helper, extra travel costs, or other costs (like tapes or braille paper). Both you and your course must be eligible. 

Click the link at the bottom to check if you're eligible. 

Parents' Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant 
If you are a lone parent, you may be eligible for either a Childcare Grant or a Parent's Learning Allowance. 
Childcare Grant: 
- up to £155.24 per week for one child, or 
- up to £266.15 per week for more than one child 

Parents' Learning Allowance: 
- up to £1,573 per year Adult Dependents' Grant 

If you have adult dependents or are acting as a carer for an adult, you may be eligible for an Adult Dependents' Grant to help with study (up to £2,757 per year).

Click to expandTalk to your University

Support from individual universities 
Your PA has a listing of all the different support packages from different universities. Each university does things differently, but almost all of them will have something in place to help you achieve. This could be a bursary or scholarship, which usually don't need to be paid back, and/or a fee waiver, which could be applied to part or all of the course costs. 

National Scholarship Programme (NSP) 
Be sure to ask your university about their NSP programme and find out how to apply. This is done differently at each university. Any money you get from NSP does not need to be repaid. 

Buttle Trust Quality Mark 
See the links below to find out about the Buttle Trust Quality Mark and which Universities have it. They will have a dedicated named contact you can talk to and additional financial support for you.​

What is the Buttle Trust Quality Mark?

List of Universities in England with the Quality Mark

Other Small Grants you can apply for through Buttle Trust

Click to expandOther Funding

Many Charitable trusts set aside funding for grants and awards to support different people for study. Advice about what may be available can be found through individual universities and through the Educational Grants Advisory Service (EGAS). 

Public libraries should have directories of charitable trusts that provide grants and awards: 
- Education Grants Directory 
- Charities Digest 
- Grants Register 
- Directory of Grant Making Trusts​ ​​​

Click here to use an online resource to start your search for grants

Click to expandWorking while you study?

The most important thing while you're studying is to study. Working is great for a bit of extra cash, as long as it doesn't interfere with study. A lot of students work part-time while they study. 
Click the link below to see some of the current jobs on Leeds Pathways, perfect for students.

Leeds Pathways Live Vacancies page

Click to expandNearly 25 and starting at university?

Talk to​ Leeds Children's Social Care or your current PA if you have one to see if you can get financial support form Leeds. Your course must start before your 25th birthday to be eligible.​​​

Click to expandPost-Graduate Courses

If you want to go on and study a post-graduate course, talk with your PA. They will be able to support you to find financial support and resources so you can keep studying. ​​​​

Useful numbers

Click to expandTax Credits

Tax credits line: 0345 300 3900

Click to expandPersonal Independence Payment (PIP)

​​New claim: 0800 917 2222
Helpline: 0845 850 3322 ​​

Click to expandLocal Welfare Support Scheme

Local Welfare Support Scheme:
0113 376 0330

Click to expandLeeds Benefit Service

Leeds Benefit Service
Get information about Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support
0113 222 4404

Click here for information about Leeds Benefit Service

Click to expandCitizen's Advice

Citizen's Advice can give you free independent advice on Welfare Benefits, Debt, Employment, Housing, Immigration and Community Care.
0113 223 4400

Citizen's Advice website

Click to expandLeeds City Council Housing Repairs

You can contact these if you have a tenancy with Leeds City Council you can use this number to report any damages/repairs to your property and arrange for the problem to be solved.
0113 376 0410

Click to expandLeeds City Council Tax

Council Tax payments, enquires and advice:
0113 222 4404

Click to expandCouncil Housing (Registration and Bids)

Council housing (registration & bids):
0113 222 4413

Click to expandGIPSIL Housing

GIPSIL (Gipton Supported Independent Living) provides support, including housing and related services, to people who are vulnerable and in need.​
0113 2481813

GIPSIL website

Click to expandArchway

The services on offer include counselling, welfare rights advice and housing support. They also provide laundry and shower facilities, creche sessions, a music studio and cyber-suite, to help meet young people’s physical and practical needs, as well as encouraging and facilitating creativity.
0113 383 3900

Archway website

Click to expandNHS Direct

You can call this number when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Call: 111

What does NHS 111 cover?

Try the NHS Symptom Checker

Click to expandBenefits Claims

You can use this number to make a new claim for benefit and also to make any enquiries about your current benefits.
0345 604 3719​​

Contact Job Centre Plus (JCP)

Click to expandEducation and Training information

Want to get into (or get back into) education, training or employment? Leeds Pathways website is a great place to start. Just remember:
Click on either of the links below to get started. ​​​

Leeds Pathways: Learning, training and employment for young people in Leeds (up to age 24)

Benefits Sign off and Drop-in Services for Young People in Leeds