Statutory support for care leavers
Following changes introduced through the Children and 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 years old, you will no longer have a social worker, so your personal advisor (PA) will make sure you get the services you need. Your PA help coordinate your pathway review. They are 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.
A PA will:
- 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
- review your pathway plan with you at least every six 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.
- liaise with youth offending services and probation if needed
- assess what help or assistance we may be able to give you if your case has been closed you can still get in touch with us before you turn 25 years old.
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 years until you turn 25 years old, 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. 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 years until you turn 21 years old, the PA has a duty to:
- see you every two months
- see where you are living to ensure that you are okay and managing with independent living
- keep in touch with you, as agreed by you, in-between visits
- record and monitor your progress
- offer you support and advice every step of the way.