Carers, Care Experienced & Estranged Students

We appreciate that there are practical concerns for some young people who may be care experienced, have limited or no family support, or have additional caring responsibilities when entering Further or Higher Education.

To help you make the transition into either further or higher education, we have a designated member of staff (DMS) on each campus if you need additional support. The DMS is there to support you if you are:

> Care experienced. UCA recognises that any time spent in care can have a significant impact on educational opportunities and outcomes, and we therefore provide pre-entry and on-course support to care experienced learners.

You’re considered care experienced if you are one of the following: a learner who has spent any amount of time in local authority care, adopted and previously in care or if you have experience of kinship care due to being looked after by relatives or family friend.

> A carer. This means you are caring for another person and taking on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

> Estranged from your family or have limited family support.

In addition to one of the above you will need to be:

> Registered on a pre-degree, undergraduate or postgraduate course

> Classed as a 'home' student

> Under 25 years of age at the start of your course

We will support you by providing a seamless support process from initial enquiry through to graduation. This includes:

> Information and guidance on courses and returning to education

> Information on paying for your course, help accessing this and other sources of financial help. Carers, care experienced students and estranged students are a priority group for the University's Financial Assistance Fund and Discretionary Funds and we can advise and support students in making an application to the appropriate Fund 

> Help and advice on completing application forms for courses, student loans/bursaries

> Help getting your accommodation in place, including liaising with our accommodation department, external agencies and landlords

> Help putting additional support in place ready for your course, such as disability and specific learning support difficulties, as well as help accessing other services available including study support, counselling and careers advice

> Ongoing welfare support

> With your permission, working with other professionals supporting you.

All shared information remains confidential in line with the University’s Data Protection Policies.

Additional information

  • Care experienced learners

    We strongly encourage care experienced learners to declare this on their application form so that the DMS can contact you to discuss the support available and answer any questions you may have.

    In addition to the support outlined above, the DMS can help with the following:

    With your permission the DMS will be able to liaise with you and your Social Worker/Personal Adviser to ensure an easy transition and continuous support throughout your studies.

    Learners on further education courses can apply for the Special Support Bursary and the DMS can help with these applications and ensure awards are paid in a way that meets your needs.

    Students on higher education courses may be eligible for the care leavers scholarship and are a priority group for the University’s Financial Assistance Fund. The DMS can advise and support learners in making an application for the scholarship or to the Fund.

    The University is currently working with the charity Drive Forward as part of a pilot project. Drive Forward works with care experienced learners on a one to one basis to improve their employment opportunities. As the University is part of a pilot project with the charity, the DMS can refer learners directly.

    UCA is proud to commit to the Care Leaver Covenant to provide additional support for young people leaving care. The aim of the Care Leaver Covenant is to ensure the following:

    > Care leavers are better prepared and supported to live independently.

    > Care leavers have improved access to employment, education and training.

    > Care leavers experience stability in their lives and feel safe and secure.

    > Care leavers have improved access to health and emotional support.

    > Care leavers achieve financial stability.

    You can read more about our offer to learners here.


    Useful websites:


    Buttle UK

    Care Leavers Association

    Care Leaver Covenant

    Care Leaver Progression Partnership

    Coram Voice

    Drive Forward

    Prince’s Trust

  • Students who are carers

    The University recognises that learners who are carers may have commitments outside of University which can impact on their studies. For this reason, learners who are carers are strongly encouraged to contact the DMS on their campus for additional support and liaison with academic staff if required.

    Learners who are carers are a priority group for the University’s Discretionary Funds and the DMS can advise and support learners in making an application to the appropriate Fund.


    Useful websites:

    Carers UK (see also: Grants)

    Carers Trust (see also: Grants)

    Carers First

    Carers of Epsom

    Action for Carers Surrey

    Sutton Carers Centre

    Carers Support West Sussex

    Medway Carers First

    Carers Support East Kent


    3H Foundation

    Carer's Allowance

    Carer's Credit

    Discounts for Carers

  • Learners who are estranged from their families

    We strongly encourage learners who are estranged from their families to contact the DMS for their campus for any additional support they may need.

    The DMS can help learners provide evidence of estrangement for student finance applications and support applications where appropriate.

    Estranged learners are a priority group for the University’s Discretionary Funds and the DMS can advise and support students in making an application to the appropriate Fund.


    Useful websites:

    Prince's Trust

    Stand Alone

    UCAS information for estranged students

More information about the support UCA can provide

Download our booklet to find more information about the support we provide at UCA.

Contact Us

Colin Barnes
Tel: +44 (0)1227 817 307

Nyawira Nijirani
Tel: +44 (0)1372 202 441

Andrea Beattie
Tel: +44 (0)1252 892 612

Anna Mepstead
Tel: +44 (0)1634 888 644