If you’re leaving care to become independent and you’re aged between 16 and 21, Kent County Council will support you through their local offer.
The local offer is information for care leavers about what support they can receive from services. As Corporate Parent, Kent County Council has a statutory duty to make a care leaver feel safe and supported and know how to get the advice and services needed. The support covers a range of areas including accommodation, money, health and well-being, housing, leisure, education, training and employment.
You'll be entitled to this support up to the age of 21 (or longer, if you are in full-time education), if you've been cared for 13 weeks from the age of 14, and for at least a day following your 16th birthday. This makes you a ‘Relevant Child’. You have different rights if you have spent less than a total of 13 weeks in care, or if you want to leave care before your 16th birthday.
Move-on accommodation can be secured in many forms such as supported accommodation, shared houses, studios or flats, private renting, social renting, or student accommodation if you intend to go on to University.
Read more about the offer for care leavers on the Kent County Council website.
Other support available
Coram Voice will help you figure out your rights and entitlements as a Care Leaver. They also have other advice and information.
Catch22 the national advice, support and development service focusing on young people's transition from care.
Become provides help, support and advice to children in care and young care leavers.
Learner Support provides help for 19 year olds or over who are having trouble with meeting the costs of participating in further education at college.
The Care Leavers' Association is a national charity run by care leavers offering support and advice.
Turn2Us provides information on whether you can claim benefits (e.g. income support and housing benefit) if you are a care leaver aged over 18 years.
Support from the Council
Employment – Working for a Council is a great way to contribute to the local community. Working in local government gives you the opportunity not only to develop your career, but also to make a difference in people's lives. Our current vacancies are advertised on our website, please visit Council jobs.
HERO - If you’re aged 18 years and over, you can access our HERO service, which can provide personalised advice and guidance on a range of issues including debt or money advice, housing issues or welfare benefits. Visit HERO for more information.
Housing - we know that having housing issues is very upsetting and difficult for anyone. It is very important that as a care leaver, you have a clear understanding of the housing options available to you. As a care leaver, Kent County Council will provide support to you through either a social worker or personal advisor. They will help you understand some of the housing terms being used, the likelihood of getting your own accommodation or having to go into shared accommodation. However, if you would like our assistance please go to our Homelessness and finding a home web page.
Leisure – the Council’s leisure centre’s located in Edenbridge, Sevenoaks and Swanley. Our leisure operator offers concessionary membership rates subject to eligibility. To find your nearest centre, visit leisure centres.
Support for disabled people - If you have a disability and need help with your care and wellbeing, our website provides lots of helpful advice and information on support available at Care and wellbeing.