Leaving care

Who qualifies as a care leaver?

To be eligible to receive the support form Newham’s Leaving Care Service you must have been:

  • in care for at least 13 weeks between the ages of 14 and 16 (including your 16th birthday)
  • in care for 13 weeks after your 16th birthday
  • in care prior to becoming subject to a special guardianship order (SGO)
  • privately fostered

Duties to support care leavers up until the age of 25

If you are a care leaver aged 21-24 and have a current allocated personal adviser you can now request support from the Leaving Care Service up to the age of 25 if there is a need.

If you don’t have a Personal Adviser already you can contact the duty service on 020 3373 3617 or 020 3373 3618. A Personal Adviser will then arrange to meet with you to complete a post 21 assessment of your support needs - this support could be from the Leaving Care Service or you maybe signposted to other services.

Where are we?

The Newham Leaving Care Service is split between two council buildings and care leavers are welcome to visit both buildings to meet with their allocated worker:

Newham Dockside, 1000 Dockside Road, London, E16 2QU

Nearest station – Royal Albert DLR

Currently the majority of staff use this building at least some of the week. Care Leavers are welcome to make arrangements to meet with their allocated worker at this building; there is a canteen and coffee shop as well as a spacious atrium.

Beckton Road, 5 Beckton Road, London, E16 4DE

Nearest Station – Canning Town

Two duty staff are based at the Beckton Road office. There are meeting rooms that can be booked at this office and a duty manager is always contactable if required.

Who are we and how can you contact us?

We are committed to ensuring that as a care leaver you are able to make contact with someone at all times.

On the right hand side of this page you will see a list of names and contact details for all members of staff within the Leaving Care Service that can be used during office hours.

In addition to this we have two fixed duty phone lines and one mobile phone line to be used if you are unable to contact your allocated worker. The phone numbers are below:

Leaving care duty numbers

Tel: 020 3373 3617

Tel: 020 3373 3618

Mob: 07970 033967

If your enquiry is urgent and out of hours you may wish to contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0208 430 2000.

Who else could I contact for support?

On the right hand side of this page is a link to an 'Overview of Services in Newham' document that gives a list of names and contact details for a large number of partner agencies, charities and organisations that you may wish to contact for further support and guidance.

Events

Please see below for information on upcoming events arranged for and with care leavers in Newham.

Care Leavers Forum

The forum has been running since March 2018 and meets monthly on the first Friday of the month from 3-5pm.  Members of the forum help to make changes to the way the Leaving Care Service is run and have an important role in planning events and ensuring that the Leaving Care Service meets the needs of all care leavers.

Open to: All Newham Care Leavers.

Dates: Upcoming sessions of the Care Leavers Forum are as follows:

4th October 2019

1st November 2019

6th December 2019

Please contact you Personal Adviser or Social Worker for more details.

Care Leavers Celebration Event - 14th November 2019

The annual care leavers celebration event is a great opportunity for all care leavers to get together to celebrate their achievements over the year, to meet councillors, senior council leaders and all staff from the Leaving Care Service

Open to: All Newham care leavers: Please contact your Personal Adviser or Social Worker or staff at the Newham Virtual School for more details

Care Leavers End of Year Dinner – December tbc

2019 will be the second time we will be having a social event where all care leavers are invited to join us for a traditional Christmas meal

Summer Event 2020 - tbc

Picnic in the park

Your rights

The support we must give you by law:

Having a good understanding of the rights you have as a care leaver is really important. There are certain things that we have to provide you by law such as a Personal Adviser, pathway plan and assistance to meet your education, training and employment needs.

You can find more information available in the Care Leavers Offer which you can find on the right hand side of this page.

Following changes introduced through the Social Work Act 2017, you will be able to ask for support from your Personal Adviser up to the age of 25, whether you are in education / training or not. 

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 advocate if you want to challenge decisions about the support we give you.

Access to records

Childrens Services must keep all of your case records such as reviews, assessments and pathway plans. You can ask to access your records or you could ask just to see some specific information. Once you have requested access to your records they will be prepared and some third party information (about other people) may be removed. Your Personal Adviser will be able to explain more about this and support you with applying for access to your records.

For more information about your records and how to request access to them see the guide access to your records.

Education, employment or training

The law says we must provide you with assistance with expenses linked with education, our commitment to you is set out in the Newham Care Leavers Offer. In particular:

  • A higher education bursary of £2,000 if you go to university.
  • Somewhere to stay during university holidays if you are in full time higher education
  • Access to education and employment support via the Newham Virtual School

Staying Put

We will do our best to support you to stay with your former foster carer up to the age of 21, if this is what you and your foster carer want. Your Social Worker will have all the details on staying put or you can read the guide from catch 22: Staying Put: What does it mean for you? (PDF 1MB).

Being heard

Ensuring that Newham’s care leavers have a voice and that you are able to express yourself and be heard is very important to us.

If you are unhappy about something you can always talk to your Social Worker, Personal Adviser or another adult you trust such as a teacher. You can also talk to the Children’s Rights Service. You can email childrensrights@newham.gov.uk, phone them on 0800 0152 443 or text them on 07854 085996.

If you want to make a complaint about how we are treating you, ask your Social Worker or Personal Adviser to help you to complain.

How to complain about Children and Young People’s Services.

Accessing your health records

We are keen for all Care Leavers to be able to access a copy of their health records at any time. The Looked After Child (LAC) nurse service works to provide all care experienced young people with a copy of a Leaving Care Health Passport, along with personalised health history information at the age of 16.

However there are also other ways that you can access your health records and health history:

  1. GP online services  - to access your health records on information about your medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results, hospital discharge summaries, appointment letters and referral letters.
  2. NHS app - that can be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet. It lets you book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access a range of other healthcare services.