This report was originally published by Leicestershire Care.

Care experienced young people face a range of challenges in accessing Universal Credit and other welfare support, including:

  • How to survive while they wait for their first UC payment to be made
  • Managing monthly UC payments to avoid getting into arrears
  • Managing a home on the under-25 UC rate
  • Having to explain their situation multiple times to different work coaches
  • Care leavers are three times more likely to be sanctioned than other UC claimants

To address this, Leicestershire Care have worked with Learning and Work Institute to develop six key policy asks to improve welfare support for care leavers:

  1. A designated lead at every Jobcentre Plus, focused on care leavers
  2. Introduction of a system ‘marker’ for care leavers when they enter into the welfare system
  3. All care leavers should be entitled to the over-25s rate in Universal Credit
  4. Right to advanced payment grant (not loan) so you don’t have to pay this back
  5. Clear step by step escalation protocol for applying sanctions, so care leavers can’t get sanctioned without their PA being consulted first
  6. All care leavers should be exempt from paying council tax, up to the age of 25

Read a Family & Community blog on this project.