Skip to main content

Been in care?

Getting ready to leave care

Leaving care and getting your own place is a big step, so it's important that you're well prepared. Your local council has a legal duty to help you make plans to move on, and although you may be fed up with people interfering in your life, it's best to make the most of the help that's available to you. Find out more about preparing to leave care here.

Budgeting and rent

Like anyone out there on their own for the first time, you'll need to work out a budget and think about how you're going to pay for your accommodation. You may be able to get help to pay your deposit, and you can also apply for a community care grant to help set up your own place, or a budgeting loan to pay rent in advance.

Financial support

Once you've left care, you'll probably be financially dependent on social work until you turn 18. If not, you should be able to claim benefits. The council must make sure that you don't miss out on financial support from social work and from benefits and end up with no money at all. The page on financial support for care leavers explains this in more detail.

Young asylum seekers 

If you are under 18 and you've come to the UK on your own, without your family, to make a claim for asylum, you will be looked after by the council. The section on asylum seekers has more information about the support you can get and tells you what your rights are.

Nowhere to stay?

If you end up with nowhere to stay, you should be able to get temporary housing, either from the council's housing department, or from the social work department. Don't lose hope if the council turn you away - call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 or go and see an adviser at a housing aid centre or Citizens Advice Bureau. An adviser can help you deal with the council and get what the law entitles you to.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're England

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

Was this page helpful?

This feedback tool can't offer advice. If you still need help, please call our free housing helpline on 0808 800 4444

Would you recommend Shelter Scotland's website to a friend, colleague or family member?
(0 - not at all likely, 10 - extremely likely)

Your feedback is being submitted

Success! Thank you for your feedback.

Sorry, there was a problem sending your feedback to us. Please try again or contact us via the website if this error persists.

The fight isn't over - support us this winter

far from fixed campaign logo
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today. Join our campaign
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today.
Support us by running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Raise money by running the Edinburgh Marathon for Shelter Scotland
Have you had a bad housing experience? Tell us about your story.
Share your story of a bad housing experience