Eligibility

Applicants Eligibility

You may be wondering if you qualify for assistance and how do you go about applying. This is how it works.You may request anything related to your course which you feel will improve your situation. The one exception to this is that we do not contribute towards course fees. Grants may be in cash or kind (as in a laptop computer). We will look at your application seriously, and promise to give everyone a fair hearing.

• Our grants are small with a current maximum award of €350
• The laptop computers we provide are fully reconditioned and come with a one year guarantee. They are supplied by Camara Ireland (camara.org). They come pre-loaded with the software normally required for study, research and assignments etc.
• Before awarding a laptop care leavers are asked about their level of computer skills and training is offered to those who need it.
• Due to levels of demand and CLI’s limited funds, the provision of a grantis based on the applicants need. The information supplied on the application form and from the referees are a key part of the decision process.

You may apply for a Care Leavers Grant if:

1. You have had care experience prior to your 16th birthday of at least 6 months.
2. You are currently aged 16 years or over and have left care or are about to leave care.
3. Your application request seeks support for access to education and/or career development.
4. You can provide evidence* that you are committed to an academic course or career training/development programme
5. You are available to confirm and verify the details supplied in the application form.
6. Your referees are available to confirm and verify your need for assistance from Care Leavers Ireland.
7. In exceptional circumstances, awards may be granted at the discretion of the board of Care Leavers Ireland where one of the above criteria (2-6) is not met.
*This will usually be a letter or receipt from the relevant body confirming that you have registered for the course/training.

Information we need from you.
We don’t want to pry into your life, but we need enough information to make responsible decisions.We do ask that you complete all sections of the application form as fully as possible, including telling us a little about your time in care, providing full details of your current financial situation, and giving the names of two referees who can confirm your circumstances. If you are applying by post, and the answer space is not sufficient for the information you want to provide, feel free to include it on a separate sheet. We may contact you to confirm the details supplied.

Reference Requirements:

Referees will be required to provide Care Leavers Ireland with the following information:
1. Your care history.
2. Information about your education history.
3. Your current situation.
4. The referees views as to why, in their opinion, you should be awarded the grant.
5. Any additional information that may support a positive decision on your request.

Your referees can include After Care Worker, Social Care Worker, Foster Carers or anyone who has worked with you in a professional capacity in the past.

Awards Procedure:

1. The Application Review Committee will contact you or your referees to confirm that the application details supplied are correct and meet the criteria.
2. The Application Review Committee will evaluate your application and determine an award based on criteria and the information you have supplied.
3. Sometimes even though you meet the criteria you are not guaranteed an award. We will do our best to support your application but awards do depend on our ability to have sufficient funds in place.

Filling in the Grant Application Form
Please read all parts of the application form and this guidance carefully before you fill it in. It is fine to get a social worker, other professional, or a friend to help you, or you can call CLI and ask for advice before you complete the form. We suggest that you only ask someone else to fill in the form if you really can’t face doing it yourself. We get a much better picture of you if you complete your own form.
All information provided is confidential and protected under the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003.

How to answer the questions

Question 1. Contact details: This is really important.Please double check that your phone number and email address are entered correctly as we will need to contact you.

Question 2. Your care experience:Tell us a little about your care experience e.g. how long you were in care, was it residential or foster care?

Question 3. Details of your application:If it is an item such as a laptop computer or equipment for your training course please give a brief explanation as to how it will benefit you.
If you are requesting money please state the amount required, how you intend to spend it and a brief explanation as to how it will benefit you. (Receipts will be required.)
If you are applying for a laptop computer we ask you to rate your computer skill level. We want you to get the most from your laptop and this rating will help us assess if you will need support getting started. The rating will not affect the decision to award the laptop.

Question 4. Your Income:In order to provide support we need some information about your income and other financial supports e.g. education grants or rent allowance. Income includes payments from work, training, HSE or Social Protection.

Question 5. References:We need to speak to one of your designated referees to ensure that this grant will provide the right support for you. We request two people in order to ensure we get to speak to at least one.
Referees must be people who are currently working with you or have worked with you in a professional capacity in the past. These can include Foster Carers, Social Worker, Social Care Worker, Aftercare Worker, Residential Manager etc.

Question 6. Your Representative: If you are asking someone else to fill in this form for you please ask them to provide their details here.

Question 7. Extra Information: You may use this space to tell us anything else, not included above, that you would like us to know and which you feel would support your application.

Question 8. We are responsible to the people who donate these funds:We would like to contact you after the application process to find out how useful it was for you, if it helped your situation and to allow you to provide us with feedback and ideas that might improve the process for others in the future.

You may submit your application in two ways:

You may complete the Grant Application Form and submit it on line. This is the most efficient for us.

However it might be easier for you to print off a hard copy and post it to:
Care Leavers Ireland,
Block C, Apex Business Centre,
Sandyford,
Dublin 18

You should receive a text or email confirming that we have received your application shortly after it arrives.
Applications sent by post can take a few days to reach a member of the Applications Review Committee.

When will I know if I have been awarded a grant?
The time it takes to make a decision is influenced by a number of factors.
• Pressure of work on our volunteers
• Availability of your referees to talk to us
• Availability of funds to meet each request.
We try to be as efficient as possible and we will let you know as soon as a decision is made. However, the grant will not be provided until we have received confirmation that you are engaged in a course of education or training.

If you don’t wish to fill out the form under our “Online Application Form” page you can download the one below and send it in by post or by e-mail to info@careleaversireland.ie

Click to download:
Application Form