What does 'care-experienced' and 'care leaver' mean?
Universities and colleges in Scotland typically refer to 'care-experienced' learners when determining eligibility for support. Care-experienced people are those who are or have been looked-after by their local authority due to concerns about their wellbeing or protection.
Different types of care experience can be described in different ways, and often this has changed over time. For more information on the different types of care experience and if you're eligible for support from SAAS or your university or college, look at the eligibility pages on the SAAS website.
In Scotland (as of April 2015), a 'care leaver' is a young person who ceased to be looked after on, or at any time after, their sixteenth birthday. Care leavers are able to access aftercare support from their local authority.
Other UK nations and universities or colleges outside of Scotland are more likely to use the term 'care leaver' slightly differently. For most colleges and universities, this normally refers to young people (up to the age of 25) who have been looked after by the local authority for more than 13 weeks since they were 14, including some time at age 16 or 17.
However, most other UK universities and colleges will offer at least some support for all students who have been looked after by family members, spent some time in care, but who are not officially a care leaver, or who might be estranged from their parents. It’s worth getting in touch with the named contact to see what support they can offer.
Stand Alone has online support groups for people who are estranged from their parents.
Buttle UK offer financial support for young people who are estranged from their parents.
I’m still in care. Does this mean this site isn’t for me?
Not at all! It’s great that you’re thinking about your future and what you want to do next after school. The sooner you start thinking, the sooner you can plan. Talk to your social worker, your carers and other professionals supporting you about your thoughts, so you can get things written down into your plan and help plan your journey to further or higher education.
What if I want to study abroad?
There are a few ways you can do this. Some courses, like language courses, offer it as part of the course. This is normally called the Erasmus year, in which you spend a year studying, working or teaching in a country that speaks the language you’re learning. Other courses might offer time abroad as something a bit extra, for example, studying Anthropology and going to study it in another country. Don't worry, this would usually be at a university that teaches some of its courses in English!
Some universities have campuses abroad you could study at, or you might want to try a work placement abroad. Some unis call these exchange programmes, or a year abroad. Ask the named contact about the best person to speak to about going abroad. Check out Sophina’s story to find out more about her French degree, and her year in France.
You could also study at an international university. Lots of unis abroad teach some of their classes in English. Funding for studying at international universities will depend on each university – it could be more or less expensive than studying in the UK.
For information about financial support (including scholarships) for studying in Europe, check out the European Funding Guide.Some universities have campuses abroad you could study at, or you might want to try a work placement abroad.
How do I get support?
Whether you're still in care, a care leaver or have spent time living away from your parents, Propel can help.