Leaving Care can be a scary and huge thing, but as your corporate parents we hope to guide and support you smoothly into adulthood.
“I wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to the Care Leavers section of the Linkin website for Bromley children in care and care leavers. My name is Tom Schaub-Jones and I am the Group Manager for the Leaving Care Team here in Bromley where I work with the Team Managers, Social Workers and Young Person’s Advisors who work with you all. We work with young people who are 16 or 17 years old and in Care and 16 to 25 year olds who are Care Leavers. Our job is to support you towards living independently and make sure you have the right support in place to assist you up to the age of 25 if that is what you want. There are other sections on this website that can tell you in more detail what support is available to you as a Bromley Care Leaver. To view our Bromley local offer visit here.”
What will happen when I leave care?
When you go from being ‘in care’ to living independently this process should be gradual. Like any good parent we will do our best to help you. Throughout your time in care your social worker, key worker and carers should be teaching you life skills so that you know how to clean and budget etc. things that are essential to running a house. They will help prepare you for independence and support you so that you feel more confident about what lies ahead.
One of the major changes you’ll face, will be that you’ll have more freedom to make decisions for yourself, with support and advice from those around you, but just as in the rest of the population, we all need to be considerate towards those we live with and our community so there will be rules to abide by wherever you are living.
Support for young people leaving care, consists of both social workers and YPA’s. Social workers will predominately work with young people under 18 and the YPA’s work with over 18s. As you approach your 18th birthday your social worker will be talking to you about the changes that happen at 18, one of which will be the allocation of a new worker, a YPA. This may not happen immediately as sometimes your social worker may need to continue working with you for a bit longer, but in your 18th year you should be introduced to your new YPA.
What are YPA’s?
Young Person’s Advisors (YPA’s) is a professional to provide you with the appropriate level of support. They will have an extensive level of knowledge about issues care leavers may face, the legality around it and how best to guide you. YPAs are expected to meet with you once every 8 weeks to check on you, this can be out in the community or at your home, and they will also be responsible for reviewing your Pathway Plan.
Your YPA will support you up until the age of 25 if you require this service. However, after you turn 21 your YPA will talk to you about whether you wish to carry on receiving the service or not. If you decide that you can manage without the support from Bromley then we will agree to end contact. If at any time after the age of 21 and before your 25th birthday you feel that you need our help you can contact us!
A YPA should:
- Provide advice (including practical advice) and support to the young person
- Participate in reviews of the young person’s case
- Liaise with the responsible authority in the implementation of the pathway plan
- Help young people access services available to them
- Keep informed about the young person’s progress and wellbeing
- Keep full, accurate and up to date records of contacts with the young person
- Support young people in managing day to day finances
- Provide housing options available to you
- Support in finding further education, employment or training;
In order to be clear about what the plans are for you as you move towards adulthood we will be creating and reviewing your Pathway Plan, at around the age of 15 and a half; unless you have come into care after the age of 16, in which case the plan will be developed over the first 6 months of your time in care.
Your Pathway Plan is like your care plan; it will include all of the topics that are covered in a care plan, such as health education and accommodation, but will also look at how you are being prepared for independence. Your Pathway Plan will be discussed at every CLA review meeting until you turn 18. At 18 your CLA reviews will stop but your Pathway Plan will continue to be reviewed and updated at least once every 6 months to take account of any changes in your life and the plans for your future. Remember it’s important that you participate in the updating and compiling of your Pathway Plan so that your views and opinions are recorded and taken into account, in all the planning that will be going on at this time. It is also a good way to show all of the people involved that you like to be a part of the decisions being made about you. It is important to know that a Pathway Plan is a legal document so anything that is recorded in the plan can be challenged if you do not feel that you have been provided with the right services.
Click here to read a young persons experience!
To find out more about financial support, go to this page.
Legal Identification Documents:
- National Insurance Number
- Birth certificates
- Become Charity – For children in care and care leavers