Support for children leaving care
Leaving care policy and procedures
Ok, now you're free from people telling you what to do and when to do it! Or are you? Well yes and no. You will probably still need some advice and help from time to time.
Don't be afraid to ask
There will be times when you feel lonely and you're really fed up. That's what we're here for. But be aware you won't always like the advice that we give you. We will tell it like it is and sometimes that will mean you having to do things that you don't enjoy - that's life but we will try and help all we can.
When you first live alone it can be quite a lonely experience. Sometimes you may feel isolated from your friends and family, especially if they live far away and are working during the hours that you are not.
Feeling low can follow loneliness, so we strongly advise you to get involved or keep involved with those people that you already know.
There are quite a few organisations that can provide an extra listening ear, like the Samaritans. Many organisations provide drop-in centres, mother and baby groups, music and yoga classes - give them a call.
Contact with family and friends
If you wish, we will continue to help you to maintain contact with your family. How we will do this will be written into your pathway plan. The transport costs will also be written in. Some of you who are under 16 may not be allowed to have contact with a person who may harm you in any way.
At one time or another you may have had a sport or leisure activity. If you speak with your personal advisor there may be chance that they can help you to continue or start a new one.
The Prince's Trust or the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme can accredit your hobby. By joining them you may receive a certificate, which can help increase your employment opportunities.
Sandwell offers this service to care leavers who may have irregular or no contact with their families. Your independent visitor will make contact with you and will accompany you to places like the cinema, or shopping. Again, speak with your personal advisor about this and other services like this.
This scheme has been set up by Sandwell Leisure Trust. The pass is free for looked after children or care leavers and gives you free:
- gym and fitness classes
- swimming lessons/sessions
- coached activities and holiday camps.
Your personal advisor can give you an application form for the pass.
Your rights - the law
Your personal advisor must do the following things.
- Consider your views, consult with you and keep you informed of things that may affect you.
- Always treat you as the unique person you are, and not forget your race, culture, religion and language you speak.
- Try hard to encourage you to be happy and as safe as possible.
- Make sure you are offered a range of accommodation.
- Offer you reasonable financial support.
- Assess your needs.
- Ensure that you have a pathway plan.
- Your advisor must make sure that the council knows that it has responsibility for you no matter where you live up to the age of 21 (24 if you're in higher education).
Access to files
If you wish to see your personal files you have a legal right to do so. First you have to write to either your social worker if you have one, or your personal advisor saying that you are applying to see information held on you under "Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998".
Ask your personal adviser for more information. Remember you will not be allowed to see information recorded about anyone else without his or her consent.
Leaving care policies and procedures
Within the team we have a book that tells us how to work with you and with our colleagues. The manager of our team always has a copy. If you want to see it, ask your advisor.
Pages in "Support for children leaving care"
- Sandwell Leaving Care Service
- Benefits and money
- Eligibility, personal advisor, advocates and pathway plan
- You are here Leaving care policy and procedures
- Work, education, training and employment