Care Leavers

The University is committed to supporting all of its students, and has a dedicated support service for those who come from a background in care. We recognise that some of these students may face particular challenges in relation to accommodation and finances, and may have experienced disruption in their schooling.

What is a care leaver?

A care leaver is someone who has previously lived with foster parents, in a children’s home, orphanage, or sheltered accommodation. The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 defines a care leaver as someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday.

How can we help?

If you are currently in care, or are leaving/have previously been in care, and you are interested in studying at Birmingham City University, please contact the Student Wellbeing Adviser (SWA) on +44 (0)121 331 7741 to find out more information about what we can do to support you.

If you require advice regarding care leaver finance please call +44 (0)121 331 7741.

Some examples of the support available include:

  • Help to secure 365-day accommodation throughout the year.
  • If you are in financial hardship, we can give advice on making an application to the Access to Learning Fund (ALF) and in conjunction with the Student Affairs Help Zone team, ensure you are in receipt of all appropriate statutory funding.
  • Advice on when/how to disclose care leaver status to other relevant staff (for example, on Access to Learning Fund applications).
  • The SWA is able to act as a link between the University and your local authority if you wish them to.
  • The SWA is able to offer support, advice and/or information on physical, mental or emotional, social and spiritual-related issues.

Other useful links

A National Voice – dedicated advice and help for young people who have been, or are currently, in care. The service is run by young people who have been in care themselves.

Care Leavers Association – a forum for those in care and care leavers, aimed at uniting those with similar experiences and promoting awareness of care issues.

The Who Cares? Trust – this website aims to improve the lives of, and provide a voice for, those in care.

Voice – an advocacy organisation for young people living in care or away from home. Also includes a free national helpline.