Each year, approximately 6,000 young people emerge from the care system in the UK. Of those, around 7% go to university. As a foster carer, you have an important role to play in helping your foster child to progress through their education and into the world of work.
There are unique challenges faced by children in care throughout their education. Many foster children, without parental guidance and a stable home, fail to reach their potential. Universities are recognizing that extra support is required to enable care leavers to access higher education. Support is offered to care leavers from initial application, through to graduation and also continues whilst they search for employment. Family encouragement is essential to help those in foster care to access this extra support.
At Aston University, we have a named contact to help care leavers with all aspects of university life. Patrick Coughlan can signpost care leavers to areas within the University and external sources that offer assistance and guidance on a range of areas pertinent to potential and current students. Patrick will treat any questions confidentially and will only refer to other departments or agencies internally and externally with the student’s permission.
The help that we can offer ranges from help with the university application process and advice about accessing funds from the local authority through to support once they begin their University course.
Care leavers are considered a priority in the assessment of applications for short-term financial assistance from our Aston Support Fund. Additionally Care Leavers new to higher education may receive a bursary of up to £2,000 from their local authority. Students who have come to us from foster care may not have a family home over the vacation periods and Aston University provides summer lets in on-campus accommodation for students in these situations.
If you would like to contact to a member of our student support staff, please email Patrick Coughlan at firstname.lastname@example.org