Financial support for Care Leavers aged 16-17

What support am I entitled to?

Often 16 and 17 year olds are not entitled to the same financial support as 18+ year olds due to legally still being classed as children. If you are 16 or 17 and have left care but are still in some form of education, employment or training, we can offer you help as if you were able to receive benefits like Universal Credit. We call this the Leaving Care Maintenance Allowance.

What is the Leaving Care Maintenance Allowance?

The Leaving Care Maintenance Allowance (LCMA) is a weekly payment of £57.20 per week for 16 and 17 year olds who are studying, undertaking unpaid training, looking for employment, or taking part in voluntary work.

If you work in a low-paid job, you will also be able to gain the LCMA until you earn over a certain threshold.

If you are completing an Apprenticeship or paid traineeship you will not be entitled to the LCMA.

There are certain requirements that mean that deductions to this weekly payment may apply such as:

  • Receiving certain other benefits
  • Not being responsible for all the finances in your home

Any deductions should be discussed with you and documented in your Pathway Plan.

If you are entitled to the benefits below, you would only be entitled to get the allowance until your benefits come through.

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Child Benefits

For more information about the LCMA, speak to your Pathway Advisor (PA) or the Positive Futures Team.

What other support is available for me?

  • Positive Futures can cover the cost of your rent until you reach 18 years of age.
  • Positive Futures can pay the cost of special clothes or expenses linked to your education, employment or training.
  • Your PA will provide you with a copy of your Pathway Plan which will include a description of the financial support you will receive from Positive Futures.
  • Your PA can provide you with advice on how to manage money and can encourage you to complete a budget plan to help you manage your money.
  • Your Pathway Plan will be reviewed regularly so it can be adapted to any change in your life.


Swindon’s Care Leavers aged 16-21 years could receive the following financial support. This depends on your age, check with your PA to see what you are entitled to:

  • Birthday allowance of £50 per year
  • Christmas/festival allowance of £100 per year
  • Leaving Care Grant up to £2000
  • Travel/ contact allowance (bus/train pass)
  • A provisional driving licence
  • Driving lessons up to the value of £500
  • Passport/ cost
  • Cost of birth certificate if needed
  • £5.00 per week clothing allowance or two payments of £130.00 each at the beginning of the Summer and Autumn and an initial clothing allowance of up to £150 (for those who enter care/ supported living/ semi-independence)
  • Needs assessed funding for cultural or religious services
  • Personal luggage items up to £35
  • Emergency funds made up of three payments of £10 in a 6 month period if needed. (Requesting the emergency fund may affect how you receive LCMA if you are entitled to it)
  • You may also receive up to £200 per year for leisure/cultural activities if there are no other funding options available.

Any financial support given to you will be clearly recorded in your Pathway Plan.


Getting in touch

For more information or advice, please contact Positive Futures on 01793 466715 or email pfduty@swindon.gov.uk

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