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When Michael’s relationship with his mother broke down a few weeks before his 18th birthday, he was taken into local authority care. But because he turned 18 after just four weeks in care, he had to leave his foster home and wasn’t entitled to any after-care services or support. Here is his story, told by Michael himself.
I had no idea what I was going to do, going home to my mum wasn’t an option, but I couldn’t get help from the council because you have to be in care for at least 13 weeks to get help finding your own home when you turn 18. I found out about YPSF from a friend, so I went to their Wythenshawe drop-in and straight away I felt like they helping me to sort things out. I only had a few nights left in my foster home, so they found me a place in a hostel while we worked out what I wanted to do long-term.
I’d always wanted to go to university, but when things started to go wrong with my mum I thought it would never happen; my priority was making sure I had somewhere to live. But when I mentioned it to my support worker, he just didn’t think it was an issue and said I should go for it. We got in touch with Connexions and together we applied for the course I wanted through the clearing system. I couldn’t believe it when I was offered a place, but I was still worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. My support worker helped me to apply for student finance and to research any grants and bursaries I might be entitled to, and then I was offered a place in halls. I havent looked back since.