While you are in care, you will get help to develop your skills for successfully living on your own when the time is right.
The Leaving Care Service will work with you and your carer if you have one, using your pathway plan to find out your goals, work out how you are going to achieve them, who is going to support you and what things you need more support and guidance for.
As a young person leaving care, you have certain rights by law. You have a right to:
- a pathway plan to help you on your journey to independence
- an outreach worker (from the age of 18)
- financial support to help you become independent.
Just before you turn 16, your social worker will write a pathway plan with you to find out what skills you have and what you would like to achieve in the future.
We will review your pathway plan with you every six months, or more frequently if needed until you are 21 years old. If you are in education we will continue to review your plan until you are 25.
About your pathway plan
Your pathway plan should describe how you will move on to become confident enough to live independently. It is very individual to you. How you plan your journey to adulthood will depend on:
- where you have lived while you were being looked after and where you want to live after you leave care
- your health needs
- what you would like to do with your future and whether you want to stay in full-time education or training
- who is around to support you.
Your plan should:
- be realistic
- be practical
- describe what you want to achieve.
This is your plan, so it is important that you are involved in putting it together with your worker and you are happy with it.
We will help you to plan your future and move towards living on your own.
We will help you to decide where you want to live and what you plan to do over the next few years – whether that is staying in education, getting training or getting a job.
We will support you until your 21st birthday or your 25th birthday if you are in education or training.
Around your 18th birthday you will be given an outreach worker who will take over from your social worker.
They will continue to review your pathway plan with you. Your outreach worker will support you until you are 25 years old (if you are in education).
He or she will be responsible for making sure you get what you are entitled to and can help you to get the answers to any questions you may have.
We will work with you and anyone important in your life to help you to learn how to live on your own. This will be set out in your pathway plan
Where you will live when you leave care
Your social worker or outreach worker will help you to find somewhere suitable to live when you leave care.
He or she will talk to you about the different types of housing available to you and where and how you want to live.
You could live in:
- supported lodgings (with your foster carer)
- shared house or flat
- residential mother and baby units
- university halls of residence
- semi-independent housing
- independent housing.
Housing (move on accommodation)
We will assess you to make sure you are ready to manage a tenancy. We will make sure you can manage money and you are able to prepare meals and look after a home. We will also make sure that you are emotionally ready to live independently.
If you go to university, we will help you to find somewhere to live. You can choose whether this is in Newham or in the part of country where you are studying.
You may wish to stay on at school or go to a local college of further education to study for A levels or other qualifications or you may wish to do a more practical course, such as an apprenticeship. As part of your pathway plan, your social worker or outreach worker will help you get the education, training or job that you would like.
Get help with planning your future
We have two education, training and employment workers who can help you to:
- make choices about a career and get education, training, employment and work experience opportunities
- find the right education or training courses to get nationally recognised qualifications
- fill in college, university or job application forms
- learn new skills, such as surfing the internet or basic computer skills
- get help with literacy, English and maths and other basic skills whilst you are at college
- find a job, write your CV and practise doing interviews
- find out about money to help you with education and training.
If you are unhappy about something, you can always talk to your social worker, outreach worker or another adult you trust such as a teacher. You can also talk to the Children’s Rights Service. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 outreach worker to help you to complain.
How to complain about children and young people’s services.
We would like you to get involved in improving the service we offer you. We run care leavers workshops which can give you more information about what is available to you as a care leaver.
If you would like to get involved you should speak to your outreach worker or Children's Rights Service. You can email email@example.com, call 0800 0131 650 or text 07854 085996.