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Children Leaving Care

Available help from Doncaster Council

If you are a care leaver you may be able to get housing and other help from Doncaster Childrens Trust. The help you get mainly depends on your age. Doncaster Childrens Trust is responsible for finding you somewhere to live until you turn 18. If you are aged between 18-25 years and you are a homeless care leaver, Doncaster Childrens Trust should provide you with a personal advisor to support and guide you.

Housing help for 16 and 17 year old Care Leavers

If - you have already left care, and

   - you have spent a total of at least 13 weeks in care since the age of 14, and

   - part of that time in care was while you were 16 or 17

You will be able to get help including somewhere to live from Doncaster Council. It does not matter if those 13 weeks were not all at the same time. You have different rights if you have spent less than a total of 13 weeks in care, or you want to leave care before your 16th birthday.

Financial support for 16 or 17 year old Care Leavers

Most 16 or 17 years old care leavers are not eligible for benefits.

Doncaster Childrens Trust could help with:

  • Providing housing or helping you find and keep your own place.
  • Supporting you financially by assisting with your rent, food, bills, travel costs for education and training, clothing, pocket money and childcare if you need it.
  • Giving you any other support you need, such as help with continuing your education, finding work or dealing with personal problems.

You can usually only claim benefits if you are a 16 or 17 year old care leaver and you are also a single parent or unable to work because of a disability or illness. Find out more from Turn2Us about benefit rules for care leavers.

Housing help for 18 to 25 year old Care Leavers

If you are homeless we will consider whether we have a duty to provide you with accommodation. You will automatically be classed as being in priority need for accommodation purposes until your 21st birthday if:

  • You are aged 18 to 21 and spent at least one night in care when you were 16 or 17
  • Or you are older than this but qualify for assistance as you are still in education

Children’s services can also help you by providing support and help with training and education. If you are in full-time further or higher education, Doncaster Childrens Trust must find you somewhere to live during holiday periods if you need it.

Benefits for Care Leavers over 18

When you turn 18 you are entitled to claim benefits. You should be able to claim Universal Credit if you need to.

Housing help for 21 years old and above Care Leavers

Doncaster Council will provide housing assistance to all Care Leavers in the form of a Personal Housing Plan. Personal advisers, (Doncaster Childrens Trust) will also help and support Care Leavers until their 25th birthday. Some older care leavers can get accommodation from St Leger Homes if they are in priority need. For example, this may be the case if you:

  • are vulnerable as a result of having been in care
  • haven't had a stable home since you left care
  • have slept on the streets in the past
  • if you are in full-time further or higher education and you have nowhere to stay outside term time Doncaster Children’s Trust must also find you somewhere to live.

Other support for Care Leavers aged 18 to 24

As a care leaver you should continue to receive help and advice from Doncaster Council until your 25th birthday including assistance with education and training. Your personal adviser should keep in touch and should go over your pathway plan with you to see how you are getting on. Ask Children’s Services to help you if you need support to continue with your education or find training or employment. They may be able to help with the cost of living near your college, training centre or workplace.

Help for all Care Leavers

The council’s role -  If you are a Care Leaver under 21 that has been looked after, accommodated or fostered in a different area for a period of at least two years, you may also apply for assistance in that area. However if you are not in this category the council that last looked after you remains responsible for you even if you move to a different area. The council can continue to give you any help you need, even if you move to another area.

If you're aged between 16 and 18 and you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, a joint assessment will be completed with our Home Options Team and Children’s Services. This assessment will include discussing your circumstances and any support needs. This will help us to prevent you becoming homeless and assist you to return home where this is suitable.

You can contact us:

By Telephone: 01302 736000 Monday to Friday 08:30 - 17:00.

By Email: housingoptionsteam@doncaster.gov.uk

If you do not have access to a phone or email, please visit us:

In Person: One Stop Shop at The Civic Building in Doncaster during
opening hours Monday - Friday between 8.30am - 5pm.

Emergencies: If you are homeless outside of these hours contact 01302 323444