Improving care leavers’ experiences of the welfare system

What are care leavers experiences of Universal Credit?

 

Care leavers face a number of challenges as they prepare to leave the care system and navigate towards living independently at a young age. They often need support to help them move into education, employment or training. However, there is evidence that the welfare system isn’t doing enough to support care leavers.

 

Through consultations with care leavers, desk research and expert interviews, L&W and young people from Leicestershire Cares, Drive Forward and Homes2Inspire have identified six policy changes that we believe would improve care leavers’ experiences of the welfare system and help them to achieve better outcomes.

Proposed policy changes

1. A designated lead at every Jobcentre Plus, focused on care leavers

2. Introduction of a ‘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)

5. Clear step by step escalation protocol for applying sanctions

6. All care leavers should be exempt from paying council tax, up to the age of 25

 

Improving care leavers’ experiences of the welfare system

About the project

With the support of Lloyds Bank Foundation, Learning and Work Institute (L&W) is working with young people from Leicestershire Cares, Drive Forward and Homes2Inspire to understand care leavers’ experiences of the welfare system.

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