Finances

Ensuring that you have the right support financial support available to you is important to us.

Below is the support available to you:

  • If you are a relevant care leaver (aged 16 or 17) you will be provided with a weekly living allowance.
  • If you are a relevant care leaver your rent will be paid in line with current Housing Benefit rates, these are currently £75 per week.
  • All care leavers residing in Darlington up to the age of 25 can apply for up to 100% council tax support reduction, this support is means tested and dependent on income.
  • There is a dedicated work coach for Care Leavers based within the Job Centre in Darlington who can support you in making benefit claims and offer additional support and advice if needed.
  • Your Personal Advisor will support you to make a benefit claim and there is a computer based within the young person’s room to be used to make and access any current claims.
  • Access and support to spend appropriately your Setting up Home allowance to furnish a tenancy of your own.
  • Prior to leaving care we will ensure that you have a current Passport, a Driving Licence and copy of your Birth Certificate.
  • You will be supported to open a bank account if you do not already have an account in place.
  • We will support you to apply for your National Insurance number.
  • Your Personal Advisor will complete a budget planner with you and can refer you to more specialist 1:1 budgeting support via Money Works programme if required.
  • You will be provided with information on how to access your Junior ISA (Individual Savings Account).
  • In winter months (1 November – 31 March) you may be eligible for a winter fuel payment, please discuss with your Personal Advisor.
  • As a care leaver, you can access bursary payments from your college or training provider, your Personal Advisor will provide you with a supporting letter detailing your eligibility to this funding.
  • If you are studying at University on an undergraduate course you will be provided with a weekly living allowance for the duration of your studies and Darlington Borough Council will pay accommodation costs up to 52 weeks of the year.
  • The type of university accommodation will be considered on an individual needs basis and the Local Authority will take into account any scholarships and bursaries available to you via the individual university to contribute to the costs. Also taken into consideration will what stage you are at with your undergraduate studies.
  • If you are studying at University you will be provided with a £2000 equipment bursary.
  • We will fund 10 driving lessons if you have the means (savings, in employment) to continue to fund further lessons to enable you to sit your driving test.
  • You will be able to purchase a weekly bus pass which covers the Darlington District at the 1/3 of the cost, please discuss this with your Personal Advisor.