Transitioning into Adulthood
If you have grown up or spent time in care, you may not have a family home to return to if something goes wrong, or a parent to phone when you aren’t sure how to fix a problem.
That’s where NYAS can help. Young people often tell us they’re missing the skills and trusted people they need to help them navigate this new chapter in their lives.
NYAS Support for Care Leavers
We believe every young person leaving care should have access to the help and support they need to thrive. We understand it can be difficult to live independently.
This is why NYAS offers a range of support options for young people after they leave care, giving you the opportunity to embrace your new freedom.
These support options include:
- SidebySide Care Leaver Programme
- The Knapman Fund
- Advocacy Support
- Rights and Entitlements
- Helpline Advice
You can learn more about each support service below, and discover how they can benefit you when you've left care.
Side by Side Care Leaver Programme
Our Side by Side Care leaver programme will match you with a local volunteer. This volunteer will become your mentor, and can provide a broad range of support. Taking part in this 12 month programme also gives you access to a £500 care leaver bursary.
Your volunteer mentor is like having a friend who looks out for you, offering advice and guidance on things that you may be struggling with. They are someone independent who you can talk to and ask for help without worry or judgement. Whether you want some help with a job application, or you're not sure how your washing machine works, your volunteer mentor is there to listen and help.
Side by Side is currently only available on the Wirral and in Tameside, but we are hoping to spread to more areas across England and Wales in the future. If you want more information, call our national freephone helpline on 0808 808 1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Knapman Fund
The Knapman Fund is a care leaver bursary managed by NYAS. This grant is available for care-leavers aged 16-25 living in England and Wales who have previously been supported by NYAS.
This care leaver bursary distributes grants up to £500 to help you transition into adulthod. The Knapman Fund can fund a range of items, such as household goods, training courses, driving lessons and laptops.
Find out more about the grant by downloading the information pack below, or use our national freephone helpline. You can call 0808 808 1001 or email email@example.com.
Leaving care can be overwhelming, and you might have a lot of questions.
If you need someone independent to talk to, feel like you’re not getting the right support or you don't think your voice is being listened to then you have the right to ask for an independent advocate. They can help you to share how you're feeling, and allow you to communicate this to people who can help you make a change.
If you would like an independent advocate please call our national freephone helpline on 0808 808 1001 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know Your Rights and Entitlements
As a care leaver, you have certain rights and entitlements which you should receive from your local authority.
However, finding this information can often be challenging and frustrating. To help you understand what you're entitled to, our Care Leaver FAQ guide explains all of your rights.
You can also learn more about care leaver entitlements across England and Wales in our Across the Border research series, or visit the Care Leaver Local Offer website to find out what support is offered in your local area.
Still Have Questions?
If you're a care leaver with more questions about the support available to you, or you want to access any of NYAS' services, just get in touch.
Volunteering for NYAS is incredibly rewarding. Our volunteers are integral to the NYAS mission, so if you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of care experienced children and young people, explore our voluntary positions.
Share Your Story
Every voice deserves to be heard. Sharing your experience of life in care can provide hope and advice for other children and young people in the care system. Sharing your story also helps to challenge the stigma associated with young people in care.