We want all young people in care to aim high and to be able to fulfill their potential. For many young people this will include going to university. Our Tick the Box awareness campaign aims to encourage young people who have spent time in care to ‘Tick the Box’ on their UCAS form saying they are care experienced, and get the extra support they are entitled to and may need while at university.
About Tick the Box
Going to university can be a huge challenge. This can particularly be the case for those who have lived in care, who may have faced additional problems in life and may not have a family to support them through higher education.
Universities can help care experienced young people with additional support. In order to access this support, they need to ‘Tick the Box’ on their UCAS form.
But the number of those ticking the box isn’t as high as it should be. The Fostering Network believes that too many care experienced young people are missing out on the chance of further support while at university, and we want to change that.
Our aim through the Tick the Box campaign is to get the message that it is important to tick the box and access support to as many care experienced young people and foster carers as possible. Ticking the box is only used to enable universities to offer extra support to care leavers – it does not affect offers of university places.
The support on offer will vary from university to university, and can range from additional financial support in the form of a bursary to practical support to help care leavers settle into university, find accommodation or manage finances.
Read our Tick the Box information leaflet for more detail on support during higher and further education.
The Fostering Network’s Tick the Box campaign was developed in conjunction with the University of Ulster and the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland. Read their new publication Pathways to Further and Higher Education for Looked After and Care Experienced Young People.
The Fostering Network Wales has also produced A Foster Carer’s Guide to Inspiring and Supporting Care Leavers to Higher Education, which provides practical information and guidance including choosing the right course and the UCAS application process, as well as financial, emotional and general support. It also outlines the care leaver support available from each university in Wales. You can download the guide for free. This guide is also available in Welsh.