Personal advisers for care leavers
Following changes introduced through the Children & Social Work Act 2017, you are able to ask for support from your personal adviser up to the age of 25, whether you are in education or training or not.
Your personal adviser is there to help you to prepare to live independently and to offer advice and support after you leave care. Personal advisers should talk to you about what support you need and record this information in your pathway plan.
We will try to enable you to keep the same personal adviser, though this will not always be possible. The amount of support that you receive from your personal adviser will depend on what you want and your circumstances.
Your pathway plan
Your pathway plan sets out your needs, views and future goals, and identifies exactly what support you will receive from us.
We will review your pathway plan with you regularly so that it is kept up-to-date.
Your leaving care team will consider with you what extra support you may need. You might, for example, need extra support because:
- you have special educational needs or a disability
- you are an unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Child (UASC) and your immigration status is unclear
- you are in or leaving custody or you have had contact with the criminal justice system
- you are a young parent
- you are going through a difficult time in your personal life
Your right to be heard and taken seriously
You have a right to be involved in all decisions about your plans for leaving care. You have a right to support from an independent advocate if you want to challenge decisions about the support we give you.
Independent advocates can tell you about your rights and help you to be heard in meetings. They are separate from Children’s Services. Your personal adviser will be able to arrange for you to have an advocate.
You have a right to see the information we keep about you, including the files and records written about you when you were in care. There is a process for this. Please speak to your personal adviser on how you can access your records.
Leaving care before turning 18
We will encourage you to stay in care until you are 18 as we believe this is the best way to support your needs.
If you choose to leave care before the age of 18 and you are entitled to a Leaving Care service we will support you with suitable accommodation.