Leaving care

Preparing for leaving care can be an exciting time, but you might also be worried about some things.  The council has a responsibility to prepare you for adulthood, and this needs to be done at your pace.

We believe that preparation for adulthood starts much earlier than your teenage years - you might get involved in household chores from a much younger age, you have probably also been managing some of your money and choosing your clothes from a young age.

The children in care service has worked with the Children in Care Council to produce a ‘charter of rights’ for care leavers – this sets out what the council must do to support you into adulthood. They have also developed the 'aims and objectives' to care leavers which sets out what you are entitled to as you move towards living independently.

It is important that you know your rights.

At 18, your Personal Advisor (who you will already know) will take over responsibility for your planning.  They will work with you until you are 21 to ensure that your Pathway Plan happens and to support and advise you. If you stay on in education your PA may work with you until you are 25.

Some young people choose to live in a semi-supported home at 16 as they feel able to do so. Some young people do not leave their foster home at 18, so we have developed the ‘Staying Put’ scheme.  This scheme means that you can come to an agreement with your foster carer to continue living with them beyond 18 – you won't be in foster care anymore, but you will still live in the same place with the same people. You will agree the ‘roles’ when you enter the 'staying put' arrangement. This arrangement is sometimes made when you join the armed forces or you go to university – you have always got somewhere to come home to.

Finally, your social worker, your IRO, your PA, senior managers and elected members have taken responsibility for your care as a child – it is important that you know that turning 18 does not end our ‘caring’. You can come back to the people you know and talk to us and ask for support – we won't turn our backs on you.

The Care Leavers Assocation
There is a useful 'leaving care guide' available for viewing at this website which is available to download and view in pdf format.