Care Leavers

Please note: We are currently working with our Care Leavers to review and revamp this document. 

Are you a Care Leaver looking for support?

The Local Offer sets out the support and services we offer to Staffordshire’s care experienced young people.

The Offer is for care leavers up to the age of 25, to help you get ready to live independently in the right housing and employment so that you are well prepared for adult life.

Moving out to live on your own or with friends is a huge step; it will be exciting and challenging at the same time.  This local offer will help us make sure you feel safe, supported, and are aware of who you need to go to if you need help.  

Just like any good parent, we are here for you, to help you learn the skills you need to be healthy, happy and achieve your goals as you become independent. 

Your Personal Adviser can help you understand and get the most out of the Local Offer.

Please note: we are currently in the process of developing a policy for care leavers who are a parent. This policy will provide further information about what a care leaver can expect to receive. We are looking to make this available in September / October. 

We are also currently working with our young people to develop a mobile Care Leaver app. This should be available in early 2024.

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Am I eligible?

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 tells us what we must do to support young people who are leaving care; and the support you will receive will depend on what your Leaving Care Status is. Your status will depend on your circumstances and your age. You could be either an ‘Eligible’ ‘Relevant’, ‘Former Relevant’ or ‘Qualifying’ young person. If you are unsure about your Leaving Care Status, please ask your Social Worker or Personal Advisor. Or email one of the following email addresses to get more information:

Our role

Staffordshire County Council is your ‘Corporate Parent’, which means as you grow towards adulthood, we will support you to learn the skills you need to be able to live on your own and support yourself.

We are committed “To ensure that looked after children and young people are prepared for independence”.

What we will do (our corporate planning principles)

What we’ll do:

  • Prioritise and promote relationships at every interaction
  • Be attachment aware and trauma informed - understanding your lived experience
  • Act in your best interests
  • Promote your physical and mental health and wellbeing; and support you to build your emotional resilience
  • Encourage you to express your views, wishes and feelings and take them into account
  • We will consider making care leavers a protected characteristic
  • Be inspirational and aspirational in our planning with you
  • Support you to have access to: 
    • loving, stable homes
    • quality education
    • fulfilling work or training opportunities
    • any other services that you need
  • Appropriately prepare you for adulthood and independent living throughout your care journey
  • Embed a culture of reflection and learning
Our independence programme

Our Care Leavers have told us that they don’t always feel prepared for leaving care and becoming independent. In Staffordshire we want to change that.

In co-production with our care experienced young people, we have developed the Staffordshire Independence Programme.

The programme is a series of modules to help you prepare for independence and support you to move to your own tenancy.

The programme is accredited this means you will get a certificate for completing it and it will show housing providers that you are ready to manage your own tenancy.

The role of your personal adviser

Your Personal Adviser will help you get ready to live independently and offer advice and support after you leave care.

Your Personal Adviser will be allocated to you within 3 months of you becoming an ‘Eligible’ young person. You will become ‘Eligible’ when you turn 16 years old and have been looked after by us for more than 13 weeks. If you are unsure whether you are an ‘Eligible’ young person, please ask you Social Worker.

Your Personal Adviser will co-work with your Social Worker to support you until you are 18 years old. When you turn 18, or earlier if you leave care before you are 18, you will no longer have a Social Worker. However, your Personal Adviser will continue to support you until you are at least 21, and sometimes up to the age of 25 if you need further support.

At 21 your Personal Adviser will have a conversation with you about what support you would like to receive post 21.   

If you would like support post 21, you will update your pathway plan with your Personal Adviser. The plan will outline your needs and what support you will continue to get.  

However, if you decide you feel ready to move on, you can be stepped down. This means you will have a ‘you call us service’. We would no longer be actively working with you, but if you need us, you can contact us and ask for support; our door will be open to you until you are 25 years old.

To contact us, you can call the duty worker on the team that used to support you. Please tell the duty worker that you are an over 21 year old care experienced young person, and that you would like some support. The duty worker will then put you in touch with the relevant person.

Duty numbers for teams in each double district are:

  • Stafford and Souths Staffs - 01785 276800
  • Burton and Tamworth - 01827 78255
  • Lichfield and Cannock - 01543 510100
  • Newcastle and Moorlands - 01538 483129

Or, you can email one of the following email addresses to ask for support

Where possible, you will keep the same Personal Advisor. The support you get from your Personal Adviser will depend on what you want and what your circumstances are. They will talk to you about what support you need and record this information in your pathway plan.

What is a pathway plan?

Your pathway plan will look at your; Education, Training, Employment, Health, Finances and Relationships; and will look at where you are living and where you want to live in the future. This is your plan and will be written with you. Your Pathway Plan will set out your needs, views and future goals; and will also set out what we can do to support you.  We will keep your plan under review with you and support you to achieve your goals and reach your full potential.

Extra Support

You and your Personal Adviser will look at any extra support you need. You might need extra support because:

  • You have special educational needs or a disability.
  • You are an unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Child (UASC) and your immigration status is unclear.
  • You are in or leaving custody or you have had contact with the criminal justice system.
  • You are a young parent; or
  • You are going through a difficult time in your personal life
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