Central Bedfordshire Children in Care Council

Leaving Care Team

The Leaving Care Team

The Leaving Care Team’s aim is to ensure all of our children and young people in Central Bedfordshire are happy, safe and healthy.

Our team makes sure all of our children and young people are safeguarded and their welfare is being promoted whilst keeping in accordance with the governments Regulations and Guidance. The Leaving Care Team also works in accordance with supporting Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children under the legislation and regulations regarding this.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-act-1989-transition-to-adulthood-for-care-leavers

The priorities of the team is based on developing meaningful relationships with young people and on core values of good parenting to give all children and young people a decent journey through care.

The Leaving Care team has a variety of responsibilities to provide a good service to Care Leavers aged 16-21 (or 25 if staying in education). These responsibilities are:

  • Working together with young people, families and other professionals to achieve positive outcomes
  • Helping to provide accommodation to give children and young people stability and to keep safe
  • Supporting looked after young people to remain living with their foster placement if happy after they turn 18 (This scheme is called ‘Staying Put’)
  • Ensuring young people are given opportunities to develop independence skills ready for them living independently
  • Providing information for young people regarding health services available in the community
  • Promoting and supporting with education, training and employment opportunities for care leavers
  • Safeguarding young people by looking out for risks that could compromise personal safety and support the young person by involving support services which provide information around healthier lifestyles and emotional wellbeing
  • Working closely with a range of agencies and services to develop and improve service requirements to care leavers
  • Working with key partners to have a range of safe and appropriate accommodation which meets the diverse needs  of young people (Sufficiency Duty)
  • Maintaining a team that promotes advocacy and children’s rights, this can also include encouragement in participation in the Children In Care Council
  • Working well with adult services in planning placements for care leavers

When a Looked after Child is 15 (just before their 16th birthday) they are transferred to the Leaving Care Team. The young person’s social worker will work up to the 18th birthday, but at 17 1/2 a personal advisor will be introduced to the young person and for 6 months both the social worker and personal advisor will be supporting the young person. Young people will have the opportunity to have a personal advisor up until they reach 21 or 25 if staying in education.

The main role of a social worker and personal advisor is to undertake assessments, complete and review pathway plans which help to identify needs and areas of support for the young person. This can include short and long term plans, goals are normally set on a 6 monthly basis between worker and young person.

Then when children turn 16 a Pathway Plan is completed. The information in these is similar to the Care Plans but includes extra support like:

  • Focusing on any problems relating to preparing and transitioning into independent living
  • Support on accessing education, training and employment opportunities
  • Information on how to access substance misuse and sexual health services are promoted
  • Young people’s entitlement to financial support by the Local Authority
  • Contingency Plans are identified and reviewed every 6 months alongside the young people’s views

Central Bedfordshire Council has signed up to the DfE Care Leavers Charter, for further information on this please see Care Leavers Charter section.

If you do need any further information please contact your social worker or contact 0300 300 8000 and ask for the Leaving Care Team.

Thanks to our CiCC Ambassadors for their help in writing this.

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