Care Leavers

If you are leaving care to go to university, we believe you deserve a little extra support - all to help you make the right choices, get the financial help and assistance you're entitled to, and settle in really quickly.

Here, we have tried to summarise for you the additional support you will receive as a care leaver. A majority of our support to students can be viewed on our Student Guidance page.

Like our Facebook page /staffsunisupport

Follow us on Twitter @staffsguidance

Dedicated advice

The dedicated contact for advising care leavers is the Student Guidance Team. We are available to help with all your questions about coming to study at Staffordshire University.

There are many complex challenges that we as a University recognise you may be facing as a Care Leaver which may be different from other students. Commencing a course at University is both an exciting and challenging experience, but can also be a time of anxiety and confusion. We can offer ongoing support and impartial advice, and can signpost you to other University and external support services in order to meet your needs during this time.

We can guide you through the UCAS application process and know exactly who to contact at the University if you need advice on finance, accommodation, learning or disability support. With your consent, we can also work alongside your Leaving Care Team to introduce you to university life and what to expect during those first few weeks on campus.

You can be confident that you will be treated as an individual and empowered to participate fully and successfully within University life.

Funding

The precise amount of funding you will receive each year will depend on your individual circumstances. Information about loans and non-repayable support can be found in: Fees and Funding for Undergraduates.

Care Leaver's HE Bursary

Care Leavers starting University will receive a £2,000 Higher Education Bursary to help with the costs of University life. The bursary is available to any Care Leavers who started a course of higher education on or after September 2008 and before their 25th birthday.

The £2,000 bursary is a minimum amount which is over and above the money and support that local authorities already provide for Care Leavers. It must not be in place of any existing support.

Financial Support from Staffordshire University

All students who are care leavers will automatically receive the University bursary regardless of the usual eligibility criteria. Further information about the bursary is available here.

Financial Support from Corporate Parents

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 was introduced to improve the life chances of Care Leavers, and provided important new entitlements and extended the age range supported. In 2003, the Government published a Green Paper called Every Child Matters. This established the duty on local authorities to provide on-going support for Care Leavers until the age of 21 (or longer when the Young Person is in education or training). In addition, since April 2011, young people who have been closed to services can come back to their local authority and request assistance up until the age of 25 if they wish to pursue education or training.

The level of financial assistance to Care Leavers varies greatly from local authority to local authority. Your leaving care worker will be able to explain your local authority's policy on the financial support they will offer you if you want to go into higher education. This support is on top of the grants, bursaries and loans that are available to most students entering higher education.

As your student loan and grants are designed to support you over the academic year, Social Services have a duty to provide Care Leavers in full time higher education with accommodation over the summer vacation period (or the means to secure accommodation). This duty remains until the Care Leaver's 24th birthday.

When discussing your Pathway plan with your leaving care worker, it is advisable to make them aware of the costs you will face whilst at University. Along with the obvious expenses such as tuition fees, rent, food, books, it is important to highlight the hidden costs that you may face during Welcome Week and Graduation.

For further funding advice please visit the UCAS website

For further information, please contact your Leaving Care Worker. Alternatively, if you have any queries regarding your eligibility, please contact the Students' Union Advice Centre:

T: 01782 294629
E: sac@staffs.ac.uk
www.staffsunion.com/advice

Accommodation

Our student accommodation is modern, secure, well maintained and among the most affordable in the country.

If you make us the firm choice on your UCAS application, and come to study with us, you'll be offered accommodation in our halls of residence for 52 weeks a year.

If you come to us as an insurance choice, or through clearing, we will still do our very best to find University accommodation for you.

Find out more at: Accommodation for students

Buttle UK

Working with the Buttle UK, we are committed to raising aspirations and helping as many care leavers as possible to to university. To find out more about the Buttle UK, visit www.buttleuk.org .

Contact

You are welcome to get in touch with the Student Guidance Advisors for an initial chat about what we do and how we can work together if you feel that would be useful. We encourage you to contact us to arrange an appointment if you would like to explore your options further.

e:support@staffs.ac.uk