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Published, 3 October 2016

The cost of being care free

A new report from the Children's Society The cost of being care free: The impact of poor financial education and removal of support on care leavers highlights the impact of poor financial education and the removal of support on care leavers in England. The report gathered testimony from young people highlighting financial barriers as they transition into independence.

Key findings from the report showed:

  • Young people leaving care, alone and with no family support are falling into debt and financial difficulty because of insufficient financial education from local authorities
  • Almost half of local authorities in England fail to offer care leavers financial education support and debt advice
  • Nearly 4,000 benefit sanctions were applied to care leavers in the last two years, leaving them in desperate situations with no money
  • Out of the few care leavers who appealed against their sanctions, 60% were successful and the sanction was overturned, revealing a worrying trend
  • Many care leavers only receive any financial advice once the situation has reached crisis point
  • The situation is even worse for young people who came to the UK alone as a child and were taken into care, who are subject to immigration control. On leaving care, many of these young people lose all support from their local authority.

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