Care Leavers and Looked After Students

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Care Experienced? Care Leaver? Looked After and Accommodated? Corporate Parent?

Are you a care experienced young person?

💡  Foster care, or

💡  Residential care, or

💡  Kinship care (e.g. formally living with a relative that isn’t mum or dad), or

💡  Looked After at Home with the support of your Local Authority (e.g. Social Worker), or

💡  No longer in care but under the age of 26 (i.e. experience of being looked after in care)

 

The college has enhanced support arrangements in place for Care Experienced Young People. You might be considering college as a future option; or thinking about making an application; or perhaps you are studying with us at present.

 

 

College Support

If you tell us that you are Care Experienced, a member of the Care Experienced Student Support Team will:

💡  be there to provide you with help and advice about courses, funding and support services;

💡  offer support to make the transition to college as smooth as possible:

– this might be as simple as showing you around the campus before you become a student;

💡  help you, if needed, to fill in forms and gather paperwork;

💡  help to ensure you have the best possible start at West College Scotland;

💡  guide and support you during your studies, in a way that is seamless and invisible to others;

💡  work in partnership with other staff (e.g. Guidance Tutor) and fellow Corporate Parents to help ensure you are supported, included, respected, achieving, nurtured, healthy, active, responsible and able to access the fullest range of services and opportunities;

💡  help you to overcome any obstacles that arise or could become a barrier to success;

💡  help you move on when it’s time – whether to another course with us; moving on to university; employment; or taking on something new.


Who should I contact within the support team?

The whole college is a proud Corporate Parent, but to ensure you have a point-of-contact from the moment you apply, or before, below are the key people:

Clydebank campus

Marie McKeown
Student Advisory Services Co-ordinator
Find me in Student Advisory Services, located just behind the campus reception
t. 0141 951 7450
e. corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk 

Greenock campuses

Simone Stewart
Student Advisory Services Co-ordinator
Find me in Student Advisory Services, ground floor foyer, next to the elevators
t. 01475 553 119
e. corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk 

Paisley campus

Claire Hamilton
Student Advisory Services Co-ordinator
Find me in Student Advisory Services, next to the campus reception desk
t. 0141 581 2255
e. corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk 

 

Marie, Simone, Claire and other members of the support team have a good working relationship with external partners such as Who Cares? Scotland, Student Awards Agency Scotland, and local authorities social work and eduction teams. With your consent, we can work closely with the relevant throughcare, aftercare, social work and education teams to ensure they too are able to support you throughout your journey with us at West College Scotland.

 

Financial Support

If you will be studying towards an HNC, HND or Degree, you may be eligible to apply for additional financial support through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). Using the contact details above, please ask Marie,  Simone or Claire for more information – but here is a summary of what you may be entitled to:

Payment of tuition fees and a non-repayable Student Bursary (up to £7,625)

New and continuing care experienced students undertaking an HNC, HND or Degree course through West College Scotland may be eligible to apply for a non-repayable funding package of tuition fees and a non-income assessed Care Experienced Students Bursary.

The amount available in 2017-2018 is £7,625

This new bursary replaces the current income-assessed living cost loan and bursary package. As such, if you apply for and meet the criteria to receive the Care Experienced Bursary, you will not be eligible to apply for a student loan.

You may be eligible to claim the Care Experienced Student Bursary if:

💡  You have ever been looked after by a Local Authority in the UK; and

💡  You are under 26 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

 

Accommodation Grant (up to £105 per week during the summer holidays) 

If you are care experienced and need help with your accommodation costs during the summer holiday that falls between each year of your course, you may be able to claim the Care Experienced Accommodation Grant.

The maximum is £105 a week during the summer holiday. SAAS will pay this directly to the person that is providing you with the accommodation. This includes:

💡   privately rented accommodation

💡  college/university halls of residence

💡   if you are temporarily living with a friend or relative, or continuing to live with a foster carer or kinship carer.

 

You may be eligible to apply for the Care Experienced Accommodation Grant if:

💡   You have ever been looked after by a Local Authority in the UK; and

💡   You are under 26 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

 

You cannot claim the grant for the summer holiday before the start of the first year of your course of Higher Education or the summer holiday after you finish your course of Higher Education. However, you can apply for the grant during the summer holiday between courses of Higher Education, for example, if you are progressing from an HNC to and HND or an HND to a degree.

If you get Housing Benefit or any other benefit, you need to tell us which benefit(s) you get, and how much. You must also tell us if your Social Services Department gives you any help.

Please note that SAAS cannot pay the Accommodation Grant directly to you. It will be paid directly to your landlord.

 

➡  Download the SAAS Guide for Support for Care Experienced Students

➡  Download the Accommodation Grant Application Form

 

The Robertson Trust

Care experienced students aged 16-25 whose next step is from college to university may be eligible for consideration for the Robertson Trust ‘Journey to Success’ bursary scheme. West College Scotland is able to nominated up to four candidates per year for consideration by the Robertson Trust. A nomination is not a guarantee but if successful, you will receive:

 

  • a non-repayable bursary of between £2,800 and £4,000 for each year of your next step university course;
  • take part in a Outward Bound personal development course;
  • participate in a peer-mentoring programme;
  • access to volunteer placements and paid internships

All nominations should be received no later than the first week in March. To find out more, just ask your named contact at your campus (Claire, Marie, Simone or Fiona) at Student Advisory Services, or email: corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk 

 

Care Experienced: Student Support Forum

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The purpose of the Forum is to ensure that our Care Experienced students have a strong collective voice and a direct link with the Students’ Association, Student Services, Curriculum and the Senior Management Team. The Forum is hosted by the Students’ Association and is a key influencer on shaping the policies, procedures, the experience and outcomes of our Care Experienced students.

 

Advocacy Support from the Students’ Association and Who Cares? Scotland

It’s really important that our Care Experienced students have a strong, clear, influential voice – individually and collectively. In addition to the support available from your named contact within your campus (Claire, Marie, Simone or Fiona), and your area of study (e.g. Curriculum and Quality Leader (CQL) and Guidance Tutor), it is important to note that the Students Association and Who Cares? Scotland can provide advocacy support

 

Our duties to you as a Corporate Parent

Part 9 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 gave Scotland’s Colleges statutory duties as as Corporate Parents for Care Experienced young people. The college shall be alert to risks, assess need, promote interests, provide opportunities, ensure access, improve as a Corporate Parent and collaborate with other Corporate Parents.

➡  Read our Corporate Parenting Plan (written in partnership with Care Experienced students)

➡  Tell us how we improve our support for you and become an even better corporate parent

 


Here when you need us …

If you’ve got a question, worry, concern or just need a quick chat – drop in any time, call or email. We’re here for you!

corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk

Clydebank campus

Marie McKeown
Student Advisory Services
Ground floor next to the campus reception desk

0141 951 7450

Greenock campus

Simone Stewart
Student Advisory Services
Finnart Street Campus, Ground floor next to elevators

01475 553 119

Paisley campus

Claire Hamilton
Student Advisory Services
Main entrance next to the campus reception desk

0141 581 2255

Waterfront campus

Fiona Sanderson or Simone Stewart
Student Advisory Services
Campus reception desk

01475 553 119

Need more info?

Scott Campbell
Head of Student Services

01475 553 066

corporate.parent@wcs.ac.uk