Supporting Young People Leaving Care
Young people in care are supported up until the age of 21 or 24 if remaining in full-time education. At 18 young people usually no longer have a Social Worker but are supported by a Moving On Worker. When young people reach the age of 16 their Social Worker will work with young people to complete a needs assessment and pathway plan. This assessment and plan looks at a young person’s future needs in a number of areas: health, accommodation, education, training, employment, support, money and practical skills. This gives young people an opportunity to start thinking about where they want to be living in the future and what their future goals are. We offer practical, emotional and some financial support to ensure young people have suitable accommodation, contact with their families and previous Foster Carers, access to education, training and employment and access to health services.
The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
Under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, if you have been in care for 13 weeks since age 14yrs and over 16yrs, the Local Authority has responsibilities and duties towards you when you are leaving care.
These are around such things as:
- Plans for your future recorded in a Pathway Plan
- Assessment of your needs
- Provision of a personal adviser to work with you
- Education/training/employment advice and support
- Health and well being
For more information please follow this link to the Department for Education website.
Explanation of words used in the Act
You may hear these expressions: ‘Eligible’, ‘Relevant’, Former Relevant’, ‘Personal Advisor’.
This is what they mean:
- Eligible - 16 and 17 year olds in our care
- Relevant - 16 and 17 year olds who have left care
- Former Relevant - 18 to 21 year olds who have been in our care, now living independently.
- Personal Advisor – this could be your Moving On Worker a/ or your Social Worker
All young people are entitled to advice, a Moving On Worker, a needs assessment, pathway plan and leaving care grant, as are other young people.
Moving On Worker
A Moving On Worker will be available for every care leaver.
Your Moving On Worker can:
- Advise you of your rights and responsibilities and the services available to help you. They can also advise you on how to complain should you need to.
- Provide help to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to at the right age.
- Help you to fulfil your potential in education training and employment.
- Tell you about the different types of accommodation you may be able to access.
- Tell you about the Leaving Care Grant and how this can be used when furnishing your new home.
- Help you to promote and maintain relationships after Leaving Care.
- Help you to complete your pathway plan, helping you to plan the best way forward for you and identify the parts of your life that you need assistance with.
- Offer help in case of a crisis.
Before your 16th birthday, your Social Worker will complete a Needs Assessment & Pathway Plan with you. The purpose of this is to look at plans for your future and decide who will do what and when.
A Pathway Plan is a record of your plans for the immediate future and contingency plans in case your wishes are not possible, or you change your mind. It replaces your Care Plan when you are 16. There will be a copy on your file and you will have a copy of it. It will be reviewed every six months until you are 21 or 24 if you are in full time education.
Your Pathway Plan will include information on:
- Family/social relationships and Personal support
- Practical skills
- Education, training and employment
- Your health and development
- Details of any children you have if you are a parent
- Financial support
- Legal status/issues