Care Experienced

A care leaver is generally someone who has been in the care of their local authority for a period of 13 weeks or more around their 16th birthday. You could have been in foster care or living in residential accommodation.

We provide support for all students that have been in care, even if you don’t fit this definition. We call this care-experienced.

  • If you fit this definition you should be receiving support, including financial help, from your local authority’s Leaving Care Team to come to university
  • If you need help sorting this out or you do not know if you are entitled to support please contact askUS through careleaver@salford.ac.uk or on 0161 295 0023 (Option 1, Option 3)
  • If you’re not sure whether you are a care leaver or if you want information and advice on your rights then there’s a useful quiz on Coram’s Voice that you may want to use

We provide support for all students that have been in care, even if you don’t fit this definition. We call this care-experienced.

We’re here for any of your questions. Get in contact with us so we can help you out.
Phone: 0161 295 0023 (option 1, option 3)
Email: careleaver@salford.ac.uk 

Before attending university

Both the UCAS and the University of Salford online registration form ask whether you have been in care. This is because we recognise that some care-experienced students may face different and/or multiple hurdles in coming to university and succeeding to the best of your ability, and we want to offer you as much support as possible.

Letting us know that you have been in care will not affect the outcome of your application but will allow us to give you the best support possible if you need it.

Finding out more about our university

We understand that coming to university is a big decision and we’d recommend that you come and visit us for yourselves before you apply so that you can see exactly what we do.

  • We can organise bespoke visit days for you where you can meet the care leaver specialists within askUS, have a tour of the campus, have some lunch in the on-site restaurant and meet lecturers from your course of preference to ask any questions that you may have. "ue to COVID-19 we are currently offering these visits virtually, but still with as many activities as possible as above
  • You are welcome to visit by yourself, or with anyone that you’d like with you
  • If you’d like us to set up a visit day, then please email us on careleaver@salford.ac.uk

Student finance funding

Students that fit into the legal definition of a Care-Leaver are also entitled to the full amount of maintenance loan from Student Finance, which for the 2021/22 academic year is £9,488. We’d recommend applying for Student Finance before the Easter of the year that you are planning on coming to Salford. This is to give the Student Loans Company plenty of time to approve your application. If you are care-experienced, but not a care leaver you still may be able to get the full amount via being ‘estranged’ from your parents. Talk to us.

If you have any questions about Student Finance, please contact us on 0161 295 0023 (option 2, option 3) or on askUS@salford.ac.uk.

Starting university

Some students prefer a fresh start and don’t want to be ‘labelled’ being care-experienced. We understand this, but only the care-experienced specialists within askUS will know unless you give us permission to tell someone else. We will occasionally email you to tell you about great support opportunities like bursaries. If you no longer want any contact from us, please email us to let us know and we will remove you from our contact lists.

Once you’ve completed your application to the University, you will receive a welcome email from the askUS team inviting you to come in and meet the team. There’s no pressure to accept this, but if you’d like to come and see us and learn about the support that we can offer then we’ll be happy to arrange this. You may find our FAQ section helpful as you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions that we receive.

During your studies

Financial support

The main financial support that we offer care-experienced students is the Care Leaver Bursary

  • This bursary is worth £1000 per academic year and is paid to you in two instalments, £500 in November and £500 in April
  • You will receive this for each year of your study, but not for any repeat years that you undertake or under certain circumstances if you change courses
  • If you have ticked that you are care-experienced on the UCAS and Online Registration form then we will contact you to apply for the bursary
  • If you haven’t heard anything from us by October after you’ve registered then contact us on careleaver@salford.ac.uk

We also guarantee work for any care leaver that would like to be employed through our Student Insight Ambassador scheme.

  • This is flexible work to fit around your studies and involves working at open days and visit days to show care experienced applicants around the University, working at outreach events and promoting the work that we do as care leaver specialists in askUS
  • This is organised through our onsite temporary job agency, Unitemps who can also help you find employment in other areas of the university and in external companies

If you find yourself in financial hardship, you can apply for the Salford Support Fund.

There are also some charities that provide grants or bursaries that you may want to apply for. To find out more about these, please look at the ‘External Links’ section at the bottom of this page.

When you get to the end of your course, you may need help with paying for gown hire for Graduation. If you’d like us to support you with the cost of this, then please get in contact with us at careleaver@salford.ac.uk.

Accommodation support

Staying in student halls is all part of the fun of coming to university, but it may be worth chatting to your local authority before signing any contracts as they may be able to provide you with long-term accommodation prior to coming to university.

If you stay with our Partner Accommodation that’s run by Campus Living Villages (Peel Park Quarter or John Lester and Eddie Coleman) then we may be able to provide additional support.

  • CLV offer 52-week contracts for care-experienced students to make the gap between academic years easier for you by letting you stay in their accommodation over summer
  • They can organise for you to book your room without paying the deposit and rental advance up front, and delaying it until the first instalment of your student loan comes in
  • If required, we can organise for you to stay at the accommodation for all three years of your study through our ‘Protected Returner’ scheme

If you’d like to find out more about any of the above, please get in contact with us.

We are also University partners with the Unite Foundation, who have a scholarship that can provide up to three years of free accommodation whilst you’re at university.

  • You can find out how to apply here, and if you’re successful you’ll get your accommodation without having to pay rent or bills for up to three years
  • The Scholarship has closed for 2020/21 but more information on next year’s scholarship will be released in due course

We’ve also become partners with Housing Hand, which can act as a guarantor for your accommodation.

  • If you’re in your first or second year at university then we may be able to cover the cost of using Housing Hand
  • If you’ve not yet started at Salford then we have an exclusive price of £250 or 8 monthly payments of £35. Please contact the team for further information.

If you ever need any advice or support on accommodation, then we have accommodation specialists within askUS who can help. They also work alongside Manchester Student Homes, who will check the legality of contracts and can provide a list of accredited student accommodation providers and landlords. The accommodation team can be contacted on askus-accommodation@salford.ac.uk or by calling 0161 295 0023 (Option 3, Option 3).

Emotional support

The care leaver support specialists within askUS are here to be your first point of contact at the University and, while we usually only deal with non-academic enquiries, we can put you in contact with other areas of the uni. Email careleaver@salford.ac.uk directly so we can provide you with support and set up a one-to-one appointment with you. 

It is completely normal to want or need to seek additional emotional support at university. We have a dedicated Wellbeing team who will be able to speak with you about anything that is worrying you and refer you into counselling if you’d like. They can be contacted on 0161 295 0023 (option 1, option 1), on email at wellbeing@salford.ac.uk or through the referral form which can be found here.

We also have a dedicated Disability and Learner Support team who will be able to support you with getting extra support in place. It’s best to contact them before you start university so they can get your support in place before you start. They can be called on 0161 295 0023 (option 1, option 2) or emailed on disability@salford.ac.uk.

We have also set up an instant messaging service to connect our care-experienced students and prospective students who are care-experienced. If you’re interested in joining, then please let us know by emailing careleaver@salford.ac.uk.

We also have a Microsoft Teams group for care experienced students where you can ask specialist advisers questions and talk to other care experienced students at University. This is a closed group for our advisers and other care experienced students.