Your age: 15-17
Also Access: Stepladder
The Government have contributed money to open an account, either a Child Trust Fund or a Junior ISA, for each eligible young person in care.
The Share Foundation, a registered charity, has been authorised by the government to set up and manage these accounts for all looked after children and young people. Where possible, The Share Foundation also raises funds to contribute to the accounts that it manages.
When can the money be taken out?
The money in a Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA belongs to the young person, but you can’t take the money out until you are 18. You can then decide what you want to do with it. For Junior ISAs, if the young person chooses not to take the money out the account will automatically become a regular adult ISA.
What happens when I'm 16?
You can take charge of the account. This means you can decide which funds or shares you want to invest in. You can also change your account provider, but if you choose one which does not work with The Share Foundation we will be unable to make additional contributions to your account. Also - remember that you cannot take the money out until you are 18.
Who decides how to invest the money in a Junior ISA for looked after children?
The Share Foundation obtains independent advice from financial advisers about how the money should be invested.
What do I have to do to take control of my investment decisions?
You should contact the Local Authority who will enable you to contact The Share Foundation direct. You will then be allowed to direct your investments and the provider. Click here to download a letter which will give them permission to pass on your details to us.
Can I save my own money into the Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA?
Yes, that's a good idea. It will help to build up its value and you'll feel more connected with the account. Ask your Local Authority contact to authorise us to contact you directly so that we can set up the best way to make payments. Download your 'Getting access' letter here.
How can I see how much money is in my Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA, or how it is performing?
Account valuations are sent at least quarterly to the local authority, and you can obtain a balance from them.
Alternatively, if you wish, copies of statements can be sent to you directly. If you would like to request this option, or would like to discuss details of the statement further, ask your local authority contact to arrange for The Share Foundation to hold your contact details.
Can I get advice and support on how to understand my money better as part of the scheme?
Yes - a programme of financial education support is available to you. Materials for young people in care, as well as Local Authorities, Corporate Parents and carers have been developed by pfeg and are available via www.sharefound.org or the pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) website at www.pfeg.org/JuniorISA.
Telephone support is also available to advise you on further educational materials that will help you learn how to manage your money, including your Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA. Call us on 01296 310400 to find out more.
We have also introduced a web-based programme called the 'Stepladder of Achievement' starting in 2016. This has six steps including literacy, numeracy and building your confidence with money, designed specially for those aged 15-17. Click here to find out more about the standard Stepladder programme.
There's also a 'Stepladder Plus' version in which more money is credited to your Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA as you complete each step; however this version is only available in specified local authorities due to the need to find local funding. Click here to find out how far we've got in introducing it.
Is it possible to contact the Share Foundation and get further information?
Further information on the scheme and copies of all materials can be obtained from The Share Foundation website www.sharefound.org or by calling the number below. We also provide a short leaflet which is normally distributed through Local Authorities with a tear-off slip, which you can return direct to us by freepost: this authorises us to speak to you directly - here's a link to the leaflet. Remember that we can only provide general information until you’ve either returned the reply slip or been introduced by the local authority.
You can call 01296 310400, send us a message or write to:
The Share Foundation, Elsinore House, 43 Buckingham Street, Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire HP20 2NQ