Child Trust Fund campaign in the news

4 mins read

Thursday 15 June 2023

Tags: universal credit, Child Trust Fund, mental capacity, Junior ISA

The parent-led campaign, supported by Contact, to unlock Child Trust Funds for disabled young people in England and Wales who lack mental capacity has been in on BBC Breakfast News again today.

The BBC is shining a light on the extra unfairness for those with £6,000+ savings in Child Trust Funds who will receive a reduction in Universal Credit payments, even though they can’t access their savings. A ‘double whammy’ for Change Makers Claire and her son Ryan from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who spoke out to highlight the situation.

Teddy Nyahasha, CEO of Child Trust Fund provider One Family is part of the parent-led campaign group. He believes making families go to court to access their child’s savings infringes on his duty to the consumer. His company has released £3.6m from 1,000 accounts without involving the Court of Protection. This why it’s really important that families speak to their provider first.

Our Head of Campaigns Una Summerson also appeared in a film shown on BBC Morning Live at 9.25 today. Una spoke about the unfairness of 80,000 Child Trust Fund savings accounts being locked to those who lack capacity. She appeared alongside Change Maker Maria and her son Ryan from Crawley.  

Why we are campaigning

Tens of thousands of disabled teenagers have a Child Trust Fund savings account. The average account value is estimated to be around £2,000.

However, some young people are unable to manage their money as they lack mental capacity. This means their parents have to apply through the Court of Protection to access their savings on their behalf. This is a lengthy, costly and complex process, which many families are not willing to go through.

We are campaigning for a simplified process for families to access their child’s money in these cases.

Una Summerson said: “More and more disabled young people are being locked out of their Child Trust Fund savings each day. This is often money that their parents and grandparents have saved for their future. It’s truly shocking that they can’t enjoy the benefit of that money.

“The average account value is estimated to be around £2,000. Some are lucky to have more, and they face a double whammy of unfairness. They can’t enjoy their savings and also face a reduction in the financial support they could receive via Universal Credit.

“We need a solution to this urgently. There is an already established way of parents managing the money of children who lack capacity through the DWP appointee scheme.”

How do I find my Child Trust Fund provider?

Find you Child Trust Fund provider before your child turns 18 using the government website. You’ll need basic information like their National Insurance number. Then speak to your provider about how to access the savings.

If your child is 18 years old or over, you won’t be able to get this information without their consent. And if they are unable to give consent because they do not have mental capacity, you will need the Court of Protection order to investigate and report to them, so you can get access.

What should I do if you live in Scotland?

You can access funds held in Child Trust Funds or Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA’s) through the Access to Funds Scheme (Scotland). Before making an application, you should contact the Access to Funds team on 01324 677140. Or you can email to discuss your individual circumstances

Join our Facebook Live on 19 June at 2pm

To help affected families, we’re hosting a special Facebook Live Q&A session on 19 June.

You’ll be able to ask questions directly to Child Trust Fund experts Philip Warford, managing director of Renaissance Legal, and Myra O’Neill, head of customer services at Foresters Financial.