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KU Cares: support for care leavers, estranged students and young adult carers

KU CaresAt Kingston University we provide a comprehensive package of support for care leavers, estranged students and young adult carers. Our support package, KU Cares has won recognition as 'highly commended' at the Times Higher Awards, November 2014 and runner up at the 2015 Guardian University Awards, March 2015.

If you have any questions or are unsure of your eligibility please contact Chrissie Farley at c.farley@kingston.ac.uk.

Financial support

Financial support

Financial support

Care leavers and estranged students who enrol at Kingston University and have been assessed as 'home' for fee purposes are eligible to receive a non-repayable care leaver bursary of £1,500 per progressive year of study. Please note that this is in addition to any other entitlement to financial support you may have.

A bursary of £250 is available for young adult carers to support them with their travel costs. Please note that a limited number of these bursaries are available.

Specialist support

Specialist support

Specialist support

A dedicated member of staff will be available to support you through your application, time at university, to graduation and beyond.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation

Care leaver students at Kingston University are given priority for a place in halls and are given 365-day accommodation where required. We also provide support if you wish to live in private accommodation.

Compact Scheme

Compact Scheme

Compact Scheme

As a care leaver, estranged student or young adult carer you will automatically become a member of the Compact Scheme. The scheme is exclusive to Kingston University students and offers an enhanced package of support and advice, as well as a single point of contact from pre-application to graduation. Your application to the Compact Scheme will automatically alert us if you are eligible for care leaver support when you tick the box indicating that you are leaving local authority care.

Current students

If you are a care experienced student, estranged from your family or are considered as young adult carer and have not yet applied for this support please contact us as soon as possible (however, please note that bursary payments cannot be backdated).

Confidentiality

All information provided by care leavers will be held in the strictest confidence, and only shared when necessary and with your permission.

Further information

Information for practitioners

Definitions

* Care leaver: A care leaver is a young person aged 25 or under who is still being looked after by their local authority when they enrol at Kingston University. If you are not a care leaver but have spent time in public care (ie in a residential children's home or foster care) you can apply for the Compact Scheme but will not be eligible for a care leaver bursary. The bursary is only payable to undergraduate students who are assessed as 'Home' for fee purposes. If you are unsure of your eligibility please contact us to discuss your situation.

* Foyer residents: A young person under the age of 25 at the time of enrolment, who has no communicative relationship with either of their biological parents and often their wider family, and between the age of 16 and 18 were provided with accommodation and support services in a foyer residence granted by a charity, local authority or private organisation. Verification must be provided in writing from, where possible, the young person's Key Worker or another member of staff at the associated charity/organisation.

* Estranged: A young person under the age of 25 at enrolment who became estranged from their family between the age of 16 and 18 and have no communicative relationship with either of their living biological parents. These young people may not have accessed the more formal support provided through a Foyer, however, they will have lived independently for this period of time. Verification of their estrangement must be provided in writing by a professional person (eg doctor, teacher, police, local authority social worker).

* Young adult carer: A young adult carer is a young person under the age of 25 at enrolment who helps to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. The tasks and level of caring undertaken by young adult carer's can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole. A young adult carer may undertake a variety of tasks such as cooking, housework or physical care. The implication of being a young adult carer and the associated pressures can impact significantly on a young adult carer's education, personal wellbeing and lead to financial hardship. KU Cares seeks to support students both pastorally and with some financial assistance.

Young adult carer's must provide verification of their status through one of the following means.

  • Local carer's network letter or email
  • Local authority support letter or email
  • Confirmation letter or email from a professional (eg teacher, GP or social worker).

Contact us

Chrissie Farley
Compact student support manager
Tel: 020 8417 3286
Email us

Contact us

Chrissie Farley
Compact student support manager
Tel: 020 8417 3286
Email us

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What our students say...

Care leaver graduate "Coming to University was a dream that seemed to be unreachable for people like me. Completing my degree successfully is an unexplainable and overwhelming feeling. Thank you to the Compact Scheme for believing in me when I was doubting my abilities. You stood by me when the odds were against me and supported me throughout my degree."

Care leaver graduate

Social worker

"We appreciate the targeted support to looked-after children and care leavers from the time of university application to graduation. Many of our young people benefit from taster programmes that raise their aspirations as well as leaving them better information and excited by their future options. Having a single point of contact at the University is often key to the success or failure of that young person in their university career."

Tracey Lewis, The Virtual School for Looked After Children Merton Children, Schools and Families, Merton Council

Undergraduate study
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