The support we must give you by law
Following changes introduced through the Children & Social Work Act 2017, you can ask for support from your personal adviser up to the age of 25 whether you are in education or training or not. This is to try to make sure care leavers receive similar support to young adults who live with their families.
A Personal Adviser
In most cases, once you turn 18 you will no longer have a social worker, so your personal advisor (we call them PA's) will make sure you get the services you need and help co-ordinate your pathway review.
Your PA is there to help you to think about your future, what you are studying, your independence skills and where you will live in the future. Your PA will talk to you and other people who are important to you to find out more about your needs.Your PA can help you with lots of things in your life.
The main things they will do are:
- Be involved in understanding your needs and preparing your Pathway Plan so that you can get a good idea of what you want to do in your life.
- We will review your Pathway Plan with you at least every 6 months to make sure you stay on track and achieve the things you want from life.
- With your agreement, seek the views of our partner agencies when completing your Pathway Plan. This may include housing, education, training and employment and health services. PA's will also liaise with youth offending services and probation if needed.
- If your case has been closed you can still get in touch with us before your 25th birthday and we will assess what help or assistance we may be able to give you.
- After your 21st birthday the service you receive from the Leaving Care Team and your Personal Advisor will change. The level of support and frequency of vists and reviews will depend on your level of need.
Your PA will support you to identify the areas of your life that you require support. A Pathway Plan will be completed covering the identified areas of need and a plan of action will be completed to support you to achieve your goals with an agreed review date. It is anticipated that not all young people will want or need ongoing support but may seek advice and guidance from time to time, not warranting any documentation. Others may require more intensive support over a period of time.
From the age of 21 until your 25th birthday, the PA must see you a minimum of once a year, however there may be times when you wish for advice and support, or have greater need, and therefore the frequency will depend on the assessment of your needs and what the Pathway Plan states in relation to visiting and keeping in touch. Never hesitate to contact your PA if you need more support, or need to see them.
For care leavers aged 18 until their 21st birthday, the PA has a duty to see you every 2 months and to also see where you are living to ensure that you are OK and managing with independent living. They will also keep in touch with you, as agreed by you, in-between visits. The PA needs to record and monitor your progress, and will offer you support and advice every step of the way.