Homestays - Resources for young people

We know you can get bogged down with too much information, hopefully having it here will reduce the amount of legwork finding the information that can help.

What does this guide contain?

This guide will provide information the main issues and rights of young people leaving care including:

  • Who are care leavers?
  • Legal definitions
  • Entitlements?

Who can help Sections?

  • Accommodation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Benefits
  • General advice and information
  • Mental health
  • Tracing family
  • Advice for young parents
  • Sex and relationships
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse
  • Bullying / keeping safe on the internet
  • Who to call if you have any concerns about a child

This is a very informative guide to give you knowledge and places to go to for the full information.

Guide to leaving care (PDF 4.8MB)

This toolkit is to be used by young people and those who may be supporting them, e.g. foster carers, PAs, social workers, residential workers, mentors etc. to build a young person's independence skills and resources over time.

Area covered include:

  • Housing
  • Home Management
  • Money Management
  • Self Care Skills-you and your clothes!
  • Self Care Skills-food
  • Friends and Family-negotiating the rapids!
  • Identity- who are you and what do you need?
  • Education, Training and Employment
  • Healthy Lifestyles

Useful to get ideas and ways in which to get young people to think about their choices and what it takes to be able to move forward confidently when living independently.

Independent living skills toolkit (PDF 1.5MB)

This guide is for young people who are in care or who have left care. It tells you about staying with your foster carer after age 18 - this is called Staying Put.

It is written by the Catch22 National Care Advisory Service based on joint work between the Young People's Benchmarking Forum and the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum. We wanted to tell you about a change in the law which means your local authority has to support you and your foster carer after you are 18 to live together if that is what everyone wants.

In this guide you will find information on what the law says you are entitled to. There are also tips from young people and workers.

This guide has been written for young people - but the information in here will be useful to all those who work with young people in and leaving care.

Staying put- What does it mean for you? (PDF 1.3MB)

This handbook has been designed to prepare and support you into employment, and has been written in consultation with young people and care leavers who have experienced a variety of employability opportunities. This handbook has been produced as part of the From Care2Work Employability Project. The From Care2Work project is managed and delivered by NCAS (National Care Advisory Service), supported by young people's charity Catch22.

A guide to employment (PDF 768Kb)

Identifying the right career, course or training route for you is often called the 'career planning process'. This can be divided into four parts and it's important that you work through all of these so you can research and weigh up the options open to you in an informed, methodical and realistic manner. You will have the opportunity to ask yourself "Where am I now?" "Where do I want to get to?" and "How do I get there?". This workbook will support you as you:

  • Examine your values and interests
  • Consider how your talents and skills can best be used in the world of work
  • Identify working environments that suit your personality
  • Research careers and occupations available to you
  • Make informed decisions about your chosen career path
  • Develop career goals as part of your future plan.

Your journey to work (PDF 496KB)

This booklet aims to help care leavers in England understand the support available within the benefit system. The type of benefits you can claim depends on your circumstances.

Special benefit rules apply to care leavers. In general, local authorities are responsible for supporting young people in and from care up to the age of 18 by paying for accommodation and living costs. The only 16 and 17 years olds in and from care that may be able to claim benefits are young parents and disabled young people.

Know your rights, know your benefits (PDF 1.6MB)

This guide is for you if you are out of work or on a low income and receiving benefits, and are likely to be moved onto Universal Credit.

The benefits system is changing and many benefits are being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit.

The Money Advice Service has put together this handy guide with things you can do now to get ready for Universal Credit.

Getting ready for Universal Credit (PDF 178KB)

This guide is for you if you've just been told you are going to have to manage your own rent payments. It will give some tools and advice to help you keep track of your money and tell you how to best handle paying your rent and avoid getting into arrears.

Here to help you

This guide will show you how to:

1. Draw up a budget
2. Set up your rent payment
3. Keep your rent money separate

Paying your own rent (PDF 131KB)

The Citizens Advice service provides free, confidential and impartial advice through face-to-face, telephone and email services, and online via

As the UK's largest advice provider we are equipped to deal with any issue, from anyone, spanning debt and employment to housing and immigration plus everything in between. In the last year alone, the Citizens Advice service helped over two million people to solve more than seven million problems. But we are not just here for times of crisis - we also use clients' stories anonymously to campaign for policy changes that benefit millions, often without them even realising.

Citizens Advice money advice services (PDF 2.2MB)

Use this budget sheet to help you sort out your debts.

You can use it to list all the income and expenses for your household.

When you've added up all the figures, you'll see if you have any money left over to pay your debts.

You can show the budget sheet to the people you owe money to, to help you come to an arrangement to pay back what you owe.

Budget sheet (PDF 39KB)