If you're aged 16 or 17 and you've been cared for by the council for at least 13 weeks in total (which began after your 14th birthday and ended after your 16th birthday) you're entitled to support as a care leaver. Your social worker or independent reviewing officer can check and confirm this.
This does not mean that you will have to ‘leave’ where you are living but will make sure you get the support you need as you move into adulthood.
You and your social worker will prepare a pathway plan within three months of your 16th birthday. The plan looks at the support you'll need to live on your own when you are ready for it. It's your plan for your future and is much more detailed than your care plan.
Your pathway plan will include things like:
- where you would like to live as an adult
- any education or training you might want
- your money
- any cultural or identity needs
- your health and your lifestyle
- what each person has agreed to do to help you get to where you want to be
- practical skills such as cooking, self-care and budgeting.
Pathway plan at 18 and beyond
At 18 you will continue to have a pathway plan and will also have a personal advisor until the age of 21.
The personal advisor will offer advice and guidance and will take steps to keep in touch with you. If you are in further education when you are 21 you may be entitled to continued support from your personal advisor.
Leaving care strategy 2013/16
The Children in Care Strategy and Leaving Care Strategy [pdf] demonstrates the commitment of the council and its partners to continue to improve the lives of children and young people.
Having a strategy for children in care is important as it sets out what needs to done and encourages professionals to work together and put the child or young person at the centre of what they do.
There are a lot of positives in place in Warrington, including the support to children, young people and their families; however the council and its partners need to keep working to improve their services so that children in care and care leavers have the best possible opportunities.
This strategy will help them to do this.