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Family Information and Services Hub

Children in care and care leavers - helpful websites

There are lots of services available which offer advice and support.

Here are just a few that you may find useful, but if you are looking for other support, please speak to your PA.

Bullying

Bullying UK

https://www.bullying.co.uk/ is a national organisation offering confidential, non-judgemental free advice.

They can be contacted on 0808 800 2222.

Become - working to improve the care system and support young people

Become http://www.becomecharity.org.uk/ is a national charity which works to improve the care system and support young people.

Their mission is to provide help, support and advice to children in care and young care leavers so that they can take control of their lives and unleash their potential. They want you to reach your dreams through recognising your abilities.

They can be contacted by phoning their free number on 0800 023 2033 (lines open Monday-Friday 10.30am-3pm), or by e-mailing advice@becomecharity.org.uk.

Rees - the care leavers foundation

Rees, the care leavers foundation https://www.reesfoundation.org/contact/.

If you’re looking for information, advice, financial support, or to find a community of people who are care experienced, Rees can help.

Reese provides a range of useful extra services that anyone with care experience can take advantage of including a peer network, opportunities, sign posting, a crisis fund, and various other things. It is worth checking out their website to see if they can help support you.

The Care Leavers’ Association

The Care Leavers’ Association  https://www.careleavers.com/ is a national user-led charity aimed at improving the lives of care leavers of all ages. We bring together the voices and experiences of care leavers to support care leavers of all ages, improve the current care system and change for the better society’s perception of people in care.

If you would like to find out more, email info@careleavers.com or call on 0161 236 5665.

Coram Voice - help ensure that your voice is heard and acted upon

Coram Voice http://www.coramvoice.org.uk/young-peoples-zone/are-you-care-leaver. Coram Voice can ensure that your know your rights. They can offer an advocacy services, ensuring that your voice is heard and acted upon.

You can contact their Always Heard service by freephone  0808 800 5792 (lines open Monday – Friday 9.30am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm) or email help@coramvoice.org.uk

You can also download a PDF copy of Sorted and Supported: Your Guide to Leaving Care Entitlements here. They can also be contacted on WhatsApp  +44 (0)7758 670369. 

Capstone Care Leavers Trust (CCLT) - grants, advice and guidance

Capstone care leavers trust (CCLT) http://www.capstonecareleaverstrust.org/ awards grants to people aged 17-25 years who have been in local authority care in England or Wales and are in need.

The CCLT also offers advice and guidance to young people to help reduce their experience of social exclusion and enhance their life chances. They can be contacted on 0121 374 2601.

They will consider awarding grants for:

  • Further Education courses
  • Higher Education courses
  • Training courses
  • Laptop
  • Travel costs to place of study/training
  • Driving lessons - subject to meeting criteria
  • Practical Driving Test
  • Household goods – Sofa, chairs, cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine bed, wardrobe, drawers.

Catch 22 - supports care leavers in the transition from care to independence

Catch 22 http://www.catch-22.org.uk/expertise/care-leavers/  supports care leavers in the transition from care to independence.

They can support with:

Crisis support

Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWA)

https://www.connecttosupporthampshire.org.uk/financesupport is a scheme offering local help and support for people who are facing unexpected financial or housing related crisis.

The scheme uses the limited funding to practical information, advice and assistance to help those experiencing periods of short-term crisis. They run food banks; their locations in Hampshire can be found online. 

Drugs and alcohol support

  • iHear www.ihearpartnership.org  offers a range of services for drug and alcohol recovery.
  • National Drugs Helpline: 0800 77 6600 

Education

Unite Foundation http://www.unitefoundation.co.uk/get-a-scholarship/. Offers a scholarship to ensure you have a place for you to live whilst at university leaving you free to study, meet new people and plan your career. They will help you settle in, keep in touch with you and offer you extra opportunities for enjoyment or employment throughout your studies. The eligibility criteria is:

  • Aged 25 or under
  • A care leaver or estranged from your family
  • Starting or studying your first undergraduate degree
  • Holding UK home fee status
  • Applying to/studying at a partner university

Propel http://propel.org.uk/UK/. If you are considering entering higher Education, this website can take you to the right pages of your chosen college/ university to see what they have on offer for care leavers. 

mcp@coramclc.org.uk Asylum seeking care leavers with indefinite leave to remain may be entitled to home fees and student finance for university. For further information contact The Migrant Children’s Project on 0207 636 8505. 

Emotional issues

Childline offers 24-hours support: 0800 1111

italk offers a wide range of treatment options including educational workshops and groups which teach patients how to manage stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. They also have a number of one to one options available including Guided Self Help, Interpersonal Therapy, computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy and Couples Therapy for Depression. italk has many different treatment options available but it is not a counselling service. They can be contacted on 023 8038 3920 or at info@italk.org.uk. Your PA can help you refer, or you can self-refer.  

Employment

The Prince’s Trust https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/get-job offers support to prepare you for work, and to help you get the job you want. They can help you develop your skills and confidence, get a taste of a new industry or gain some solid work experience. They can offer development awards to fund you to train.

Drive Forward Foundation http://www.driveforwardfoundation.com/ supports young people in education, employment and training. 

Housing and homelessness

Shelter https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help can support with any issues you are having with housing or homelessness. They can offer legal advice and help you challenge housing authorities. 

Legal Advice

The Mix  http://www.themix.org.uk/ can provide non-judgemental legal advice and support for young people under 25 years old and can be contacted on 0808 808 4994.

Coram Children's Legal Centre http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/. The Child Law Advice Service provide legal advice and information on areas of child, family and education law. They also provide a range of factsheets and how to guides.

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) https://www.nyas.net/ is a rights based charity offering a variety of services including advocacy, independent visitors for children in care, legal representation for children and advocacy to in-patients in mental health settings.  You can contact them on 0808 808 1001. 

Mental health issues

The Samaritans can support you, whatever you are going through. They can be contacted 24/7 for free on 116 123. They are open every day of the year and you do not have to be suicidal to contact them. They are there to listen and support. You can email them at jo@samaritans.org.  

Turn2me hosts online support groups on anxiety, suicidal thoughts & feelings, depression, stress management and general mental health issues. You need to book to join the sessions online. The online support groups  are completely free and are run by qualified professionals who ensure every member is respected and heard. Once you select to join a group, your  registration will be approved for the group and you will receive an email confirmation. Once the group is scheduled to start, you simply log on to Turn2me and the chat window will appear on the site. Turn2me an be accessed at https://turn2me.org/ 

Out of hours

Hampshire Children's Services have their own Out of Hours Service who can be contacted on 0300 555 1373 at any time outside of office hours, including weekends and bank holidays. 

Parenthood

Care to learn https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn is for young parents aged 19 years and under. Funding is available to support with child care costs.

Family Rights Group http://www.frg.org.uk/  offers legal advice to families whose children are involved with local authority children’s services. They can be contacted on 0808 801 0366 (lines open Monday – Friday 9.30am -3.00pm) or by email at advice@frg.org.uk.

Family Lives http://familylives.org.uk/  offers support to anyone in a parenting role for any parenting problem. You can contact parentline on 0808 800 2222 (lines open Monday - Friday 9am-9pm, Weekends 10am-3pm).

Relationships

If you are in a relationship, there are various sources of support, including Relate. They can be accessed on https://www.relate.org.uk/  or by contacting 0300 100 1234. They can offer counselling relating to relationships, sex life, parenthood, and family life.

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