Support for care leavers (16+)
It is important that you know what support is available when you become a care leaver.
Support for care leavers
To access care leavers support, you must have been in care for at least 13 weeks (this does not have to be 13 weeks in a row) after age 14 and included some time after your 16th birthday.
If you are not sure whether you qualify for support, or have any questions please ask your Social Worker or Personal Advisor.
We will encourage you to stay in care until you are 18. Most young people still live at home with their families at this age.
We must provide you with suitable accommodation options up to the age of 18.
All care leavers are entitled to a personal advisor, which is legal term for a leaving care worker. An advisor will be allocated between your 16th and 18th birthdays, depending on your circumstances. Your personal advisor will in many ways be the guide as you leave our care. Personal advisors are not social workers but they have lots of other experience and qualifications.
Your personal advisor is there to:
- listen to you and help you get ready for the next steps
- make sure that decisions are made that are best for you
- help you to prepare to live independently
- offer advice and support after you leave care
- record this information in your pathway plan
- a visit to yourself will be completed a minimum of 6 weekly
The amount of support that you receive from your personal advisor will depend on what you want and your circumstances.
We are based at the Civic Offices in Cleethorpes where we have a special room designed with young people so that you can talk with your worker in privacy and comfort.
We will try our best for you to keep the same worker during your time with the service. Each year when we ask our care leavers they talk about how important their worker is to them. Having consistency is important.
We also recognise the need to have a range of workers because not all styles suit all young people.
Should you at any point wish to change your worker we will speak to you about the reason why you want to change and if it is agreed that this is best for you we will consider this. However it is not automatic.
We will actively stay involved until you reach the age of 21 years old. We will continue to support you post 21 if there is a specific need. You can request support at any time up until your 25th birthday.
What kind of help do you get?
Here are some examples of ways in which we help you from the age of 16 onward:
- helping you to plan for your future and achieve your ambitions
- help with finding the right education and training opportunities after you leave school (we can help you with any extra costs or equipment you might need for courses)
- finding work experience opportunities
- support to apply for apprenticeships
- help you to find the right sort of accommodation at a time that is right for you (for example remaining with your former foster carer at 18 in a supported lodgings arrangement)
- help with the costs of setting up in your own flat (setting up home allowance)
- help you to keep in touch with family, carers and friends and develop good support networks wherever you are living
- make sure you have the chance to develop your independent living skills (for example cooking, cleaning, managing money and paying bills)
Following changes introduced through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, you will be able to ask for support from a personal advisor up to the age of 25, whether you are in education or training or not.
Supporting those in custody
Some care leavers do spend some time in custody. If you have been sentenced to custody your leaving care worker will continue to visit you.
Visiting patterns and pathway plans will continue to be required. We will need to communicate with the Offender Management Unit in the prison to ensure the right support is provided.
Canteen monies will be provided on the following rate:
- before the 18th birthday we will pay a young person £10 a week as they are financially responsible for the young people
- post 18 the amount will reduce to £10 a month
- there will be an extra £5 a month if engaging in education or employment
Passports and national documents
We will fund a passport if required during the period of involvement. We will help you with the completion of the form. We will also make a contribution towards Citizenship papers. You will be expected to fund a third of this cost.
Staying Close provides links to previous carers when you move on. You will be able to choose who links with you and they will be able to spend time with you. Through Staying Close you will be able to spend time with together helping you be more independent.
There is a Thursday drop in, 10am to 4pm, at Learning for Life, The Warehouse, Freeman Street where you can have a hot meal and spend time with others.
Returning for support
If you have received a leaving care service from us and your case is now closed, you can return to ask us for an assessment.
If you need some more support then get in touch and we can then look at how best to help you. This can be about anything including things like education, training, housing, having a child, or accessing your files.
Understanding your own past
If you would like to see information about your past then you can ask to see the information held on our files.
Seeing your files can be difficult. Some young people who receive their files have not read all the information. Some put the information away until they are fully ready to read it.
If you wish to see your files there is a process.
- Decide what information you would like to know about
- Write to us to request the information – See Accessing personal data on the Data protection and privacy page
- Your files are gathered
- A worker will spend time taking out all of the information that belongs to someone else (for example your parent’s health information)
- The files are then made available to you
It is important you have support when you read the files or have someone to go through them so you understand them. If you want to know more about this process or need help then please ask us or go to the Data protection and privacy page.
Children in care and new futures team, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, DN358LN
Contact us: Care Leavers support request
Telephone: 01472 325232