Support for Care Leavers

A care leaver is a person who has been in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, including some point at the age of 16-17, and is under the age of 25. Most institutions offer support for care leavers, but some institutions also offer support to ‘care-experienced’ students, which is broader than the definition of a care leaver.

Are you supporting a care leaver who is considering Higher Education? 

LiNCHigher have created a guide specifically for care leavers and covers a wide range of information to guide them through higher education pathways, applying, financial support, accommodation and much more Click here to access the guide.

You can also review our Care Leavers Resource Pack for teachers in the Resource Library

The Journey Through Care - a group of young people reflect on their experiences

Pathways to University from Care - follow Zara as she leaves care and starts university life

Additional Resources & Support 

Caring2Learn Team Lincolnshire 

Caring2Learn began in 2018 as a research project funded by the Department for Education through the Partners in Practice programme. It is now a major initiative developed in Lincolnshire with the overall aim of supporting the improvement of a wide range of outcomes for looked after, previously looked after and other vulnerable children and young people.

Universities and colleges

Support students in making contact with the university or college they are interested in applying to, and find out what support they can provide.  Take a look at the information on their website or getting in touch with our educational partners. Try typing into an internet search engine the name of the university and care leaver to help you find pages on their website about what they can offer our student . 

For example 

University of Lincoln Care Leavers Support page 

Bishop Grosseteste University Care Leavers Scholarships & Bursaries 

Grimsby Institute Care Leavers Scholarships & Bursaries 


Visit UCAS where there is a video explaining exactly what a student from a care background needs to do when applying, and why its important to declare themselves as a young care leaver 


Visit Become's website Propel

You'll find general information about moving into higher education from care, alongside specific details about the support individual unis and colleges across the UK offer. Each uni or college has its own page, containing an overview of its courses and the specific support it can give care leavers. 

You'll be able to help your student make an informed choice about the right course at the right place for them, and make sure their aware of all the support they are entitled to.

Become also publishes a series of factsheets to support young people leaving care. These factsheets cover topics such as financial support post-18, getting support to go to university, and understanding pathway plans.

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers 

The NNECL website provides information on events and further resources.

Students not supported by their parents (estranged)

If students are applying for student finance through Student Finance England or Wales, and are not supported by their parents due to a breakdown in their relationship (known as estranged), you can find information about support, financing your studies and accommodation options in the Stand Alone student guide

Student Videos 

Click here to watch and share videos with students from care, sharing their advice and thoughts about University. 

The UNITE Foundation Scholarship

National accommodation scholarship scheme for care leavers and estranged students:


Working together to transform the progression of young people in or leaving care into and through further and higher education:

Learning and Work Institute

Resources aimed at supporting care leavers to access education, employment and training – including ‘Top Tips’ for Foster Carers: