Local Offer for Care Leavers

Are you a Care Leaver aged 16 to 25? This local offer is for you!

Welcome to Cumbria's Local Offer for Care Leavers web page. Here, you will find information about how different services across Cumbria are committed to helping all care leavers in Cumbria between 16 to 25 reach their full potential. If you are a Care Leaver, you can use this web page to find out what support you are able to access. The County Council and its partners are committed to collectively helping all care leavers realise their aspirations and become fully independent members of their community. This Local Offer has been created with input from Cumbrian Care Leavers and a variety of professionals who support care leavers in Cumbria. 

Everyone knows that moving into your own place and living independently can be a daunting experience. Even more so when you are doing this from a young age or have no immediate family to help when things go wrong. Cumbria have started to work together to make this process as easy as possible for Care Leavers. This includes the following commitments:

  • Council tax exemptions for Care Leavers regardless of location across Cumbria. This will help to put more money back in your pocket.
  • Priority status for housing, this will put you at the top of the waiting list and will reduce any disruption that you may face.
  • Cumbria's digital badges scheme includes housing which will give you the skills to live independently.
  • 7 hours of targeting housing support for young people include care leavers as a priority group. This will help you plan for independent living and tackle any questions you may have. 

For further information, please follow the links below: 

Youth Homelessness: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/yphousing/

Housing for Young People Care Leavers: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/yphousing/youngpeople/careleavers.asp

Options when deciding to move away from home: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/yphousing/youngpeople/moveout.asp

In Cumbria we are committed and ambitious in ensuring that all our Care Leavers have the opportunity to move into a progressive and successful career which interests them. This could be through University, Training or an Apprenticeship. Regardless of the route, Cumbria will provide the supported needed to help to succeed in taking the next step to employment. We will provide support through the following methods:

Your Personal Advisor: Your Personal Advisor will work closely with Job Centre Plus to provide you with extra support when applying for jobs or training opportunities. They will also work hard to ensure you get access to any benefits you are entitled to.

Apprenticeships:  The County Council has a wide range of rewarding apprenticeships on offer that lead to a fulfilling career right across Cumbria. As a County Council Apprentice you will:

  • Make a real and positive difference to people and communities right across the county;
  • Earn a real wage and develop transferable skills that will be valuable for your future career; 
  • Work in a real fast paced environment working with skilled and knowledge officers who want you to succeed;
  • Have a personal mentor who will support you to be the best you can be;
  • Get the opportunity to access professional development opportunities which will help to further accelerate your career;
  • Gain a recognised apprenticeship qualification with the opportunity to progress onto degree and masters level degree apprenticeships;
  • Be supported with travel costs of up to £ 15 per week which will help you keep more of the money you make;
  • Have contact with the County Council's dedicated apprenticeship team who will ensure your apprenticeship is as successful as possible;
  • Receive tailored progression route planning to maximise your career potential.

To access our apprenticeship opportunities please visit our apprenticeship web page: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/jobsandcareers/Apprenticeships/default.asp

Traineeships: We recognise that as a Care Leaver you may not be ready to go straight into an apprenticeship and may need extra time or support to make the step up. If so, we are still fully committed to supporting you to reach your potential through the County Council's traineeship scheme.

A traineeship is a step up programme into an apprenticeship or other training route. Through a traineeship you will gain work experience, English, Maths and ICT skills and other employability skills. All of which will support you to become ready for an apprenticeship with the County Council or one of our partners.

Whilst on a traineeship you may be eligible for a free bus pass to help cover the cost of travelling throughout the programme. The apprenticeships team and your personal advisor will help you in finding out if you are eligible.

Work Experience Programmes: Cumbria also recognises that has a care leaver, you may find the workplace a daunting and be a little confused about how to make a good start. The County Council along with our NHS colleagues are working to create a series of short work experience programmes which will be available right across the County.  These include working in an acute hospital ward, in civil engineering or as a carer to name a few.

These programmes will give you the opportunity to learn and develop new skills, gain work related experience and allow you to experience a number of different careers to help to start to shape your plans for your career.

We are keen to give all our Cumbrian Care Leavers the best possible opportunity to access one of our technical education routes. We therefore offer guaranteed interview schemes to all our Cumbrian Care Leavers to ensure you have the highest chance of success in starting out in your career. 


Apprenticeships: GLL is a key leisure provider across Cumbria who recognises the potential of all Care Leavers to helping them build further on their successes. GLL are working to ensure that all care leavers get a full time, permanent job once they finish their apprenticeship. This will give you the opportunity to access a progress career with a growing leisure provider within Cumbria. Opportunities will be available right across the County.

Work Experience: GLL recognise that care leavers may find it hard to access work experience for a variety of reasons. GLL will work with the University of Cumbria, all Cumbrian Colleges and the County Council to ensure that you as a Care Leaver get priority access to work experience programmes. This will help you build a varied CV that will really stand out to employers.

Bring a Friend for Free Scheme:  GLL also recognises that going to the Gym or for a swim is a good way, for example, to meet new people and build friendships. In 2019 GLL will introduce a scheme giving you as a care leaver offers so encouraging friends to come to a GLL site with you. We hope that this will help you and your friends stay active and build a wider network of friends. 

We recognise that as a Care Leaver, your physical and mental wellbeing is of high importance to ensure you can succeed in any activities you undertake. This includes knowing what services you can contact, staying active and successfully transitioning into adult services if appropriate.

Transitioning from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health Services: Although you are moving to independent living, we want to ensure you have access to all the services you need, including mental health services.  The below leaflet sets out how we will support you in moving from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health services.

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Access to leisure opportunities: GLL recognise that Care Leavers are just as interested in health, wellbeing and leisure as anyone else their age. GLL therefore offer a range of benefits to Care Leavers to help with their health and wellbeing. This includes the following:

  • GLL Better Health and Fitness Membership: GLL offers a priority discount membership scheme to all Care Leavers, this will be open to all care leavers up to the age of 25.
  • GLL Discount Card: All Care Leavers will be offered a GLL discount card giving you up to 30% of activities at GLL centres across Cumbria
  • Volunteering Opportunities: GLL recognises that volunteering is a useful way of gaining work experience for Care Leavers, boost skills and confidence. GLL will link volunteering in their new volunteering portal with care leavers so they are aware of future opportunities for learning and development.
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We want you as a Cumbrian Care Leaver to have the skills to manage your money effectively, plan for future events and be able to access a range of activities and events that you enjoy. We also want you to be confident when contacting your bank and living in such a way that you don't fall into debt and financial hardship. To help you be money savvy, care leavers can access the following help and support.

Cumbrian ISA: All Children looked after in Cumbria will have a junior ISA in place if they have been looked after for over a year.  Once you reach the age of sixteen you can add money to your ISA through the step ladder of achievement programme. Designed as a series of tasks, the programme looks to help you improve your skills in money management and you will be supported to complete this by Cumbria Youth Alliance, your personal advisor and your carer. If you complete the whole programme you could save an additional £ 1800 by the time you turn eighteen.

The Council's Digital Badges Scheme: also includes badges on money management to allow you to build skills and knowledge in effective money management

16-19 Bursary Fund: Available to those in further or higher education, is the 16-19 Bursary Fund, this is a fund put in place by Government to help you stay in education and advance your career potential. It could be used for books and equipment that may be specific to your course for example.

Care Leavers can access a bursary of up to £ 1,200 which can be accessed via the training provider. Your personal advisor will work hard to help ensure you receive the funding you are entitled to.

16-24 Year Old Apprenticeship Bursary: As a Care Leaver, if you start an apprenticeship from the ages of 16-24 you are eligible to receive a £ 1,000 from the Government. This is a useful payment which can, for example, help you with travels costs any other equipment needed to undertake your apprenticeship. The Government will pay this to the relevant training provider directly; your personal advisor will work hard to help ensure you receive the funding you are entitled to.

Your Personal advisor will also be able to help you with money management advice so contact them if you have any questions. 

As a care leaver over the age of sixteen, you will be eligible for support in accessing benefits and welfare services.  Accessing the benefits you are entitled to can help with the costs of day to day living which will give you more money in your pocket to do the things you enjoy.  Follow these links to find out more information:

Ways to Welfare Service: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/

Community Support Service: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/support.asp

As set out in this Care Leaver Offer, Cumbria is committed to giving our Care Leavers the best possible start as you move to becoming an independent adult. We also know this must feel a bit scary, so have a look at the information below. This may help you meet similar people in Cumbria so you do not feel alone when you become a Care Leaver.

Cumbria has its own care leavers' forum which works as a group to represent the collective voice of all Care Leavers aged 16-25. The group works to ensure that the transition for Care Leavers is as smooth and successful as possible and your concerns are heard by major services across Cumbria.  Find more information on the Cumbria Care Leavers' Forum by following the below link:  following website: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/strategyandcommissioning/ciccandclf/cicc.asp

Cumbria also wants its Care Leavers to feel fully supported and confident to move into Adult Life, although we know that there might be a number of challenges along the way. To support you as a Care Leaver, we have included a link to the County Council's leaving care page where you can find help on successfully moving to independence.