When you leave care you should have a short term savings account with savings your carer and you have made whilst you were in care. Some of this may have been used to buy things before you moved to independence. It is important when you have left care that you try and continue to save in case of emergencies or for that something special you want.
If you do not have a bank account, your PA can advise and support you to get one set up. A bank account is not only important to have for savings but also to pay your
wages or benefits into.
If you were in care for more than 12 months you should have some long terms savings. These will have been invested into a Junior ISA or a Child Trust Fund. When you become 18 years of age these accounts can become Adult ISA’s or Adult Trust Funds and you will be able to access this money. Your social worker or PA will make sure you have information about the money in your account and help you plan how to make use best use of this money.
Your savings are there to support you in your move to independence and adulthood. This may include buying items for your own place, driving lessons and supplementing the financial support available to you if you continue in education or training.
It is important that you think before you spend your savings as once you have spent them it may be a while before you are able to add to your savings again.
Some young people may have a lot of savings. This includes money in bank accounts or ISAs or Trust Funds and can also include inheritance or compensation given by the Courts as well as being lucky enough to win competitions or the lottery.
If you have savings of £16,000 or more you will not be eligible for Housing Benefit, Income Support or Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Job Seekers Allowance.
You can put £15,600 of these savings every year in any tax free savings account such as an ISA or Trust Fund. If you have a lot of savings it is important to get appropriate financial advice. Your PA will be able to advise you about this.
If you are 16 or 17 years old and receiving a personal allowance from us, we will encourage you to save £10.00 a week in a short term bank account to help provide items you may need as an independent adult, but which are not covered by your Setting Up Home Allowance.