Achieving financial wellbeing can mean different things to different people. To us at MyBnk, it starts with receiving meaningful financial education, in which young people gain the tools they need to make informed financial decisions that positively impact them now and in the future.

Through our work and research, we’ve found that care leavers and care-experienced young people enter financial independence earlier than their peers. However, they can encounter difficulties with managing their money including when transitioning into independent living at an earlier stage or navigating a “cliff edge” where support from their local authority stops abruptly.

Our 2022 research focused on local authorities specifically and financial education provision for care-experienced young people. With support from Berkeley Foundation and Trust for London, our 2023 research explores where care-experienced young people can turn to for support when managing their money and ensuring financial wellbeing.

Our main findings were:

  • Young people need support to manage their finances to address both short-term challenges and to build a stable future. They particularly needed help with managing their finances at transitional points in their life, such as living independently for the first time and navigating changes to their employment or living situation.
  • There are challenges that make it harder for care-experienced young people to manage their money, including the cost-of-living crisis, low income and missing out on entitlements.
  • There are several factors that help better connect young people with the financial education that is offered, or that makes this more impactful, including listening to young people’s needs and involving the care experienced community in money management support.
  • There can be barriers preventing young people from accessing or benefitting from financial education, like support not meeting the needs of young people, support feeling distant and irrelevant and a feeling of shame or mistrust.
  • To help make financial wellbeing possible for more care-experienced young people, things need to change. Several young people felt that financial education needed to be available at multiple points in someone’s life—beyond simply leaving care, but beforehand and afterwards too.

Our main recommendations were:

  • Local authorities should consider enhancing the financial support they offer to their care leavers given the continued cost-of-living crisis. Organisations working with care-experienced young people need to be mindful of these challenges and act to connect them with financial support. It is also essential that monetary support is accompanied by meaningful financial education, especially when this is a significant amount.
  • Organisations who offer money-management support to care-experienced young people could investigate the feasibility of offering it at different stages in a person’s life, to better reflect their changing circumstances. This holistic view of money management as a journey would also benefit the wider community.
  • Organisations could take practical steps to increase the accessibility of their money-management support, such as provision on evenings or weekends, online or self-guided learning. This should include help with digital connectivity where necessary.

We hope our findings and recommendations will be considered and implemented by key players in Government. Our vision is a financially confident generation of young people, who can confidently manage their finances, and care-experienced young people are not exempt.

To read our full report, visit this page.

You can watch the full webinar here.Watch Michael’s story here, a care experienced young person that attended our Money House programme.

Illustrations by Sophia Warner, you can view more of her work here