Children and young people become looked after when parents are unable to provide ongoing care. This could be temporary or permanent.
If you’re in the care of a local council, you will be considered a ‘Child Looked After’.
You may be on a Care Order. This means that a decision has been made in court with help from Children’s Social Care that you should be looked after by the local council.
This means we share parental responsibility with your parents. You will remain looked after until you’re 18 years old.
You may be accommodated (this is Under Section 20 of the Children’s Act 1989).
This is a voluntary agreement by your parents and means that the council and your parents have agreed to share responsibility for your care.
Your parents will still be part of any decisions that are made about how you are looked after.
Once you are over 16 you can sign yourself into care under a voluntary arrangement, as long as you fully understand the decision you’re making.
Our pledge - we promise to:
Recognise the importance of your family and friends.
Support you to be healthy.
Support you practically, financially and emotionally to prepare for your future when you leave care.
Listen and respond to any complaints.
Be honest with you and only promise things we know we can deliver.
Listen to you.
Support you and help you achieve your best.
Keep your information confidential.
What we will do
There are things that the law says Children’s Services must do for you to make sure you are safe and well cared for.
We will make sure you have a Care Plan.
A Care Plan says how your needs will be met, who will be responsible for supporting you and what the long term plans are for your care. We will make sure it includes your views and is up to date. Someone will give you a copy and sit down with you to make sure you understand what it says.
Wherever you are living you will have a Placement Plan.
This is done when you first move in and will be updated if you move.
A Placement Plan is part of your Care Plan. It explains why your placement was chosen and how the placement will care for you on a day to day basis.
Personal Education Plan
We will make sure you have a Personal Education Plan. This can also be part of your Care Plan.
It is about your educational needs and how we will support you to achieve your educational goals. You will have a meeting to talk about this to make sure your views are included.
Health Action Plan
We will make sure you have a Health Action Plan. It is about your health care needs and how those needs will be met.
Independent Reviewing Officer
We will give you an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).
An IRO is a person who makes sure that the local council is doing their best to take care of you. An IRO will chair your Child Looked After reviews and will work with you to make sure these meetings are useful and include your wishes and feelings. You will be able to chair your own reviews if you want to. Your Care Plan will be reviewed at these meetings.
When we make decisions about you, will we take into account your:
- ethnic and racial background
- culture and language
You have the right to keep ties to the things that are important to you and your identity.
Contact with people that are important to you
We will help you have contact with important people in your life like:
- brothers and sisters
- extended family members
- close friends
Regular visits from a social worker
A social worker will visit you regularly at the place where you live - you might hear it called your placement. They will offer to speak with you alone if you want to.
If you want an Independent Advocate we will get one for you.
If you are unhappy we will help you know how to make a formal complaint.
Let us know how we are doing
You will have lots of opportunities to tell us how well you think we are keeping our promises.
You can do this:
- when you meet your Independent Reviewing Officer at your review meetings
- when you talk to your social worker
- by contacting the Child Participation Officer
- by contacting the Complaints Officer
You can also tell us what you think at our annual Bracknell Big Ballot event. You will be invited to attend or can you can fill in the online survey.
Your contacts are:
- Children’s Social Care - phone 01344 352020
- Child Participation Officer - phone 01344 351546
Independent Reviewing Officers:
- email: IRO.Service@bracknell-forest.gov.uk
- phone: 01344 351289
- email: email@example.com
- phone: 01344 351737
If it's a crisis that can't wait until the next day, call Social Care out of hours - phone 01344 786543 from 5pm to 8:30am.