Before you leave care you will take part in an assessment of all your needs in preparing for independence.
This will include an 'Assessment of Financial Need' and you will be asked to consider how you currently manage money, whether you know about rent, bills and prices for food, whether you have a bank account, and any other questions connected with your future financial independence.
Your Personal Advisor and/or other people who know you and are important to you, will help you to think about and identify your needs.
You will then have a Pathway Plan which will identify what you and others will do to help you achieve the goals or targets you set from your assessment of need. Again, there is a specific part which plans how your financial needs will be met.
Think about the areas where you want to live and try to choose an account with a bank or building society that has a branch in that area so that you can access your money easily.
In some communities there aren't many, or any, high street banks or building societies but there is nearly always a post office and you can open an account with them.
Alternatively, you can open an account with the Nat West, using the letter of introduction in your Pathway Plan.
To help you open an account the Care & After Team will give you £10.00 on your 16th Birthday. Your Personal Advisor will get this for you and help you decide about the account you want (for example it may help you to have an account which does not allow you to go overdrawn).
In exceptional circumstances payments can be made in cash via your Personal Advisor.
If your course is for more than twelve hours each week you will receive £53.25 per week, paid directly into your bank or building society as £106.50 every fortnight. The £53.25 is made up of £43.25 personal allowance plus £10.00 incentive allowance for attending a course of education. You will receive notification by post to let you know the money has been transferred. This is called a remittance. You will be given your allowance on the same day every two weeks once payments have been established.
If your course is less than twelve hours per week you will receive the £43.25 personal allowance plus an incentive payment.
You will also receive a weekly bus pass with your remittance to enable you to get to and from your course and help you stay in contact with family and friends and your Personal Advisor.
Whilst you are doing a part time course you will be expected to 'sign on' at Connexions once a fortnight to help you to think about and access what else you want to do. This will be part of your Pathway Plan. Your accommodation costs will be paid.
Yes, if you are working voluntarily we will support you in the same way we support someone in education (see above).
Whether you are working or training the minimum we expect you to live on is £53.25 per week which equates with £43.25 basic allowance plus £10.00 incentive allowance.
Therefore, if you earn less than this each week we will make your money up to £53.25. This way you will never be worse off by going to work or training than not.
The top up will be transferred into your account every two weeks and you will receive notification by post telling you how much has been transferred. This is called a remittance. You will be given your allowance on the same day every two weeks once payments have been established.
You will also receive a weekly bus pass with your remittance to enable you to get to and from your place of work or training and help you stay in contact with family, friends and your Personal Advisor.
Your accommodation costs will be paid if you earn less than £53.25 per week. If you earn more than £53.25 per week you will be asked to make a contribution towards your rent.
Additionally, you can get help if you need to buy equipment or specialist clothing to do your job or training - see our pledge.
Yes, you will get £43.25 per week Personal Allowance transferred to your bank or building society account as £86.50 every fortnight.
You will be asked to 'sign on' at Connexions, address to be supplied, every two weeks and will be given a time when you should do this. When you sign on there will be a Connexions Personal Advisor available to help you look at your options for education, training or work. When you take up one of these options you can get up to £10.00 extra each week as an incentive to continue.
You will receive a letter (called a remittance every fortnight) to let you know that your allowance has been transferred to your account. With this you will get a weekly bus pass which is to enable you to attend Connexions, pursue jobs or courses and stay in contact with family and friends and your Personal Advisor.
Your accommodation costs will be paid. You will also be able to get help if you need clothes for interviews or if you need to travel outside the area for interviews-see our pledge.
If this really is a problem it is possible for you to receive your allowance on a weekly basis. In very exceptional circumstances it is possible that some of your personal allowance be paid in kind, for example in food vouchers.
Yes, your Personal Advisor will help you make an arrangement with your creditor, you can then ask us to pay your creditor direct. You should not make arrangements to pay more than a total of £3.00 per week from your allowance which is (on top of or as well as your normal payment).
If you have arrears with a license fee or service charge you can ask us to take over payment of this direct from your personal allowance as well. If your license fee arrears are threatening your ability to stay in your own home we can decide to take over these payments because we believe that you should not lose your home because of difficulties you have budgeting your money.
If this is the case your Personal Advisor will talk to you and be planning with you how to better manage your money.
For more information contact:
SAIL Care & After Team, Thurrock Social Services, Crown House, Crown Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6JH
Telephone: 01375 413730
E-mail: Young People's Services (email@example.com)