Support for Care Leavers
Making the move to university can be quite a thought – exciting of course, but probably also a bit of an unknown. If you're thinking about university or have recently applied then it’s important to know that there’s a lot of help and support available to help you make that journey.
All the universities in Scotland have a named contact whose job it is to advise and support Looked After Young People and Care Leavers who are at, or who are interested in studying at, their institution. You’ll find their names and contact details in the leaflet at the bottom of this page.
Pre-entry information, advice and guidance
Care Leaver contacts at the different universities are happy to offer advice on the kind of subjects that are available to study at their institution, and the school subjects and grades you’ll require for entry. They can also provide tours to show you what their campus is like, and to give you an idea of what it would be like to study there. Care Leaver contacts will also offer guidance when it comes to applying to university through UCAS, and they’ll be happy to provide information and advice on what funding is available and how to apply through SAAS.
As part of their commitment to improving the educational outcomes for young people who have spent time in care some universities will also provide adjusted offers of entry to care leavers. If you're thinking of applying it is important to get in touch as early as possible to find out what your options are.
If you have previously spent time in care it is really important that you indicate this on your UCAS application. This information will be kept strictly confidential and can only be used in a positive way, to allow you to access all the extra support and provision your institution offers.
Support for Care Leavers at university
Support from the Care Leaver contact will be ongoing once you’re at university and it is their job to help you navigate the journey through student life. They offer a friendly face and are there to help you find out about and access any of the support services you may need as a student (e.g. most universities will have a student learning services where you can get help and advice on study skills). Most institutions will also guarantee accommodation for 52 weeks of the year and many offer specific Care Leaver Bursaries. Again, this may vary from institution to institution (see the leaflet below), but the Care Leaver contact at each University will be able to advise on just what financial help is available.
Have a look at FOCUS West's advice leaflet. You'll find contact details for the relevant adviser at every university in Scotland. They'll be very happy to answer any questions you might have:
There are several organisations that can help by offering further advice or financial support:
- The Student Awards Agency for Scotland may be able to offer financial support to help with the costs of study. Read about their Support for Care Leavers.
- The 'Who Cares? Trust' is now Become and they have an online resource for Care Leavers called Propel
- For information and advice, visit Who Cares? Scotland.
Buttle UK Quality Mark
Buttle UK was established to ensure that children and young people in need are given a brighter future. Buttle UK issues its Quality Mark to those further and higher education providers who demonstrate their commitment to young people in and leaving care. Look for the Buttle UK Quality Mark when you are researching your different university options.