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When you leave care at 18, you should have a short-term savings account, with savings you and your carer have made while you were in care.

Some of this may have been used to buy things before you moved to semi-independence.

It’s important to save

It’s important when you have left care to try and continue to save in case of emergencies or for special treats.

If you don’t have a bank account, your social worker can advise and support you to get one set up. A bank account is not only important to have for savings, but also to pay your wages or benefits into and potentially any financial support you receive from us.

If you were in care for more than 12 months you should also have a Junior ISA or a Child Trust Fund, which was set up with £200 initially.

When you become 18 years of age these accounts will become Adult ISAs or Adult Trust Funds and you will be able to access this money. Your social worker will be able to give you information about the money in your account and advise on how to access this money.


Your savings are there to support you in your move to independence and adulthood. This may include buying items for your own place, driving lessons and supplementing the financial support available to you if you continue in education or training.

It is important that you think before you spend your savings, as once the money has been spent, it may be a long time before you are able to add to them again.

Savings over £16,000

Some young people may have a lot of savings. This includes money in bank accounts, ISAs or Trust Funds but can also include inheritance or compensation given by the courts.

If you’ve savings of £16,000 or more you will not be eligible for housing benefit, income support or income related employment and support allowance (ESA), or job seekers allowance (JSA).

You can put up to £15,000 of these savings into a tax free savings account such as an ISA or trust fund.

If you’ve a lot of savings, it is important to get appropriate financial advice. Your social worker will be able to advise you about ensuring you get appropriate advice for your savings.

More information and contacts


Freephone: 0808 802 2000 (9am to 8pm Monday to Friday)

Helps people access the money available to them through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

National Care Advisory Service (NCAS)


The latest news and information on all issues relating to transitions from care and care leavers are available of the NCAS website.

Page updated on: 19 August 2019

Hackney Children and Families Service


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday - except bank holidays