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The Young Adults Service

Leaving care eligibility

Some children and young people are not able to live at home with their parents. Instead, they are looked after by the local authority, perhaps in residential care or by foster carers. From the age of 16, young people start to prepare for the next phase of their lives - leading to independence.

In 2000, the Government passed a new law, The Leaving Care Act, to make sure that all looked after children and young people received proper training and skills to support them through this transition.

If you have been in care for 13 weeks without a break and are in care on or after your 16th birthday, you have the right to have access to our services.

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About the Young Adults Service

Our team consists of social workers from children's services. Social workers assess and address a number of your daily needs including

  • housing needs
  • education
  • social issues
  • health
  • independence skills.
  • Financial
  • Your rights and entitlements.

The young person will usually have a social worker until the age of 18 when a personal advisor or housing support worker will become the 'keyworker'.

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Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (and young people from abroad)

The Young Adults Service works with many young people who have come from abroad as a child and applied for asylum. You will receive the same service from YAS as other young people. Your allocated worker will help you get the right advice about your application for leave to remain.

See the leaflet below for further information (or ask your allocated worker for a copy):

See the Right to Remain Tootlkit (external link) for videos in many languages explaining the current Asylum Process. 

Young Migrants Hub (Refugee Youth Programme)

The Young Migrants Hub is a holistic space for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) and young people.

Find out more on the dedicated Young Migrants Hub webpage.

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How we can help you

We can help you with

  • financial support
  • a safe and nurturing place to live
  • a professional team of social workers, personal advisers and specialists who are available to offer advice, guidance and support
  • a leaving care handbook which offers information about accommodation, the law, education, training and employment, asylum, money and benefits.
  • a newsletter
  • a duty drop-in service that can be contacted on 0208 489 5800 between the hours of 9am – 5pm.
  • occasional activities and social events

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Personal advisers

You will have access to your own personal adviser who will

  • help you realise what you can achieve
  • have somewhere safe and secure to live
  • support you in education, training and employment and your career
  • build on your strengths and make plans for the future
  • make sure you can be fit and healthy
  • stay in touch with people that are important to you
  • address any difficulties and help you to find solutions
  • find out about your rights and entitlements
  • explore alternative ways of building resilience and participation by developing talents and making sure you have knowledge of all opportunities available to you

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There are a number of staff within the Young Adults Service who are specialists in particular areas. These include

  • A Participation Practitioner who works as an advisor and link between young people, staff and agencies and also co-ordinates the Into Education, Training and Employment panel.
  • A welfare benefits officer
  • A placement verification officer who also co-ordinates the permanent accommodation quota and tenancy workshops
  • An administrator
  • A receptionist
  • The service also works in Partnership with Drive Forward Foundation and have a resident Employment Consultant, and DWP work coach on site
  • There is regular access to mental health practitioners and access to health professionals on site
  • Access to the Virtual School

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Education, training and employment

The participation officer, employment consultant and DWP work coach is available to offer guidance. In addition to this you have the right to

  • expert advice, information and guidance from your local careers adviser
  • stay in education for as long as you need
  • carry on learning, whatever route you choose after school
  • find the right course or career that you really want
  • the opportunity to train in order to gain a qualification to NVQ level
  • advice on how to apply for an apprenticeship / work-based training/ traineeship
  • volunteering or work experience
  • support (including financial support) if you decide to go to university
  • we also offer you the opportunity to present your aspirations at our monthly EET panel and introduce you to wide ranging opportunities and provision to realise your vision and find the right match for yourself. Your allocated worker can also present to the panel on your behalf if that is your preference.

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You will be offered accommodation. Depending on your age and circumstances, the options are:

  • Foster Family or Staying Put
  • Shared Lives: supported lodging: live as a member of a household with the choice of being part of the family.
  • Semi-independence: shared housing with other young people and/or an independent studio flat with key worker support.
  • Supported accommodation via Housing partners
  • Transitional (training) housing : shared accommodation with onsite volunteering key work support
  • Permanent secure accommodation owned by the Council for people aged 18 and over or Housing Association
  • Access to rent/deposit scheme for private rented accommodation

Rent and Bills - what do I need to pay for?

Bills and responsibilities

From the moment you sign your tenancy agreement the bills will become your responsibility. You will be required to contact each utility service to inform them you are the new tenant and to discuss the different ways of paying your bills ie, direct debit every month, key meter etc. It will be down to you to establish the pro’s and con’s for the different services.

In most accommodations, you will be responsible for paying:

  • Rent
  • Electric/Gas
  • Water
  • Council Tax
  • TV Licence

What are the different ways to pay it?

  • You can pay by setting up a direct debit for money to come out of your bank account on a designated day, ie on the 15th of each month, but you need to make sure that you have money in there for it to be taken!
  • You can pay with a rent card at your nearest PayPoint shop
  • Online
  • Over the phone

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Benefits and Finance

When you are in care you should have a savings account, with savings you and your carer have made.

It is important when you have left care to try and continue to save in case of emergencies or for special treats.

If you do not have a bank account, your social worker can advise and support you to get one set up. A bank account is not only important to have for savings, but also to pay your wages or benefits into and potentially any financial support you receive from us.

If you were in care for more than 12 months you should also have some long-term savings. These will have been invested into a Junior ISA or a Child Trust Fund. When you become 18 years of age these accounts will become Adult ISAs or Adult Trust Funds and you will be able to access this money. Your social worker will be able to give you information about the money in your account and advise on how to access this money.

Opening a bank account

Visit the bank of your choice and tell them that you want to open an ordinary account. If you are a student ask the bank if you can open a Student Account. They will require proof of I.D and your address. You may have to give them a small amount of money to put into the account. If you are successful, in a few days they will send you a cheque book or deposit book depending on whether it is a savings account or current account. Following this you will get regular statements telling you how your account is doing e.g. money in and money out of your account telling you the balance.

Which? have created a video guide to choosing a bank account which can be helpful for beginners. You can view it here: Which? guide to choosing the best bank account (external link).

What is the difference between a debit and a credit card?

With a cash card you can draw money, print a statement or just get a total of how much money you have left in your account from any cash point machine all over the country. With a cash card you will also receive a PIN (personal identification number) to allow only you to get details from your account even when the bank is closed.

A bank/debit card will allow you to go shopping or pay bills without drawing your cash. It also acts as cheque guarantee card, which will guarantee the receiver payment up to £50. If you spend more than you have in your bank and are ‘overdrawn’ then you will have to pay back the money to the bank and on top of this an extra charge which can be as much as £30.

Who do I go to if I am in debt?

  • Speak to your Social worker/personal adviser
  • In-house welfare benefits officer
  • Citizens Advice Bureau

The Money Advice Service (MAS) provide a video for beginners explaining money management. It covers setting a budget, paying off debt and starting to save, View the video here: Money Management For Beginners (external link)

What benefits am I entitled to?

  • Job Seekers Allowance – actively looking for work.
  • Income Support – in full time education up to 21 years old (you have to not be living with family).
  • Employment & Support Allowance – this is if you are ill or have an illness or disability and unable to work.
  • Universal Credit – this is coming to all of the UK by 2020. Various benefits rolled in to one monthly payment. Please speak to our in-house DWP Liaison officer.
  • Housing Benefit – help to pay for your rent.
  • Council Tax – all care leavers are exempt from paying council tax until they are 25 years old if they live in Haringey.

For a full list of financial entitlements and how to claim them please see the  Care leavers' financial entitlement details (PDF, 340KB)

How can YAS help me claim benefits?

You can be booked in with our in-house Welfare Benefits officer and DWP liaison officer.

How will studying affect my benefits?

Once you turn 21 and still at college your Income Support will stop and you will need to claim Job Seekers Allowance but need to be prepared to go for interviews as and when arranged. You will need to think about how you are going to support yourself as you may not be eligible for either Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance which will impact on your housing benefit. Speak to your social worker/personal adviser, Welfare Benefits Officer or in-house DWP Liaison officer.

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The Care Advice Line is a free, confidential service available to everyone in care or leaving care. They provide help and advice Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm and can be contacted either by phone on: 0800 023 2033 or email:

Barnardo’s Advocacy Service

An advocate is someone who can help you understand your rights, express your views and be listened to and attend meetings with you. Barnardo’s advocacy service is for children in care, care leavers and children in need of support and advice.

You can contact them in the via the following options:

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Further information

Young Adults Service
40 Cumberland Road
Wood Green
London N22 7SG

Tel: 020 8489 5800
Fax: 020 8489 5858

Opening hours 9am to 5pm

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