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Care Leavers Local Offer

Stoke-on-Trent Care Leavers Local Offer

Local Offer Handbook

Stoke-on-Trent Care Leavers Local Offer

We have developed a Care Leavers Local Offer which will be reviewed annually with our Care Leavers. This website gives more information about all of the things covered in the Local Offer. Your carer, social worker or PA will support you with the Local Offer so that you understand all the information and support you can receive. Contact the Next Steps Duty Team on 01782 233575.

The Care Leavers local offer has been produced to give you, as a Care Leaver, an idea of what services and support Stoke-on-Trent City Council provides.

We know that it is a big step when you move out of care and start living independently on your own or with friends. Just because you are leaving care, or have already left care, we haven’t stopped caring about you and we can help.

Our support to you

We want to make sure that you feel safe and supported and know where and who to go to for advice and help.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 told us that we need to publish a ‘Local Offer to Care Leavers’ This local offer will provide information about all the services and support that is available to Care Leavers who were in the care of Stoke on Trent City Council.

We will tell you about what you can expect from us, This support may vary dependent on your circumstances. The act also states that you will be able to ask for support from the Leaving Care services up to the age of 25 , whether you are in education or training or not.

If you have left the service and are still under 25 then you can contact us for further information on how to access the support you may need. To be able to get some or all of support set out in this local offer, you must have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after age 14 and included some time after your 16th birthday. If you are not sure whether you qualify for support you can contact the Leaving Care Team or speak to your Social Worker.

Stoke-on-Trent Care Leavers have been consulted with regards to the offer and this offer will be published and reviewed annually. We have some things that we must do as a service, but we have also spoke to a number of Care Leavers with regards to what else we could offer you.

.We are your ‘Corporate Parents’ which means, it is our responsibility to be good parents to all young people in our care. Being a good parent means keeping you safe and providing you with the highest possible level of support to meet your individual needs. We can help you to access housing, education and training, work experience, health services and we are here to support you to make the most of leaving care. We will give you advice on obtaining a suitable placement, help with education, employment and training programmes. We will give you advice, encouragement and financial advice to help you make the most of your journey through the care system. We are also responsible for helping and supporting you after you have left our care.

Your leaving care team (The Next Steps team)

Your leaving care service at Stoke on Trent is called the Next Steps Team. We will support you after you leave care up to the age of 25. Before leaving care, you will get to know your leaving care worker, who is known as a Personal Adviser (PA). The Next Steps Team is based at the Civic Centre in Stoke. Our Team is made up of Personal Advisers who have a duty to provide you with support and assistance. We have to provide this support to you until you are 21 (or 25 if you want) Once you turn 18, you will no longer have a social worker and your PA will become your main worker and continue working with you at least until the age of 21. However the Next Steps Team can continue to work with you until you are 25 subject to your agreement. Your PA will keep in contact and arrange meetings with you; they will visit you at home and also arrange to meet you in the community.

Your Personal Adviser is there to make sure that you always have someone you can contact to sort out any problems when you leave care. They'll keep in contact with you until you reach 21. But if you want to continue to receive support we are still here to help.

Your Personal Adviser (PA) will help you with lots of stuff which could include –

  • social activities to help you meet other young people who are leaving or who have already left care
  • help to find accommodation when the time is right to leave care
  • help to achieve your aspirations
  • help with cooking and the practical things you need to know
  • help with filling in forms
  • help to put you in contact with organisations and specialist services
  • help to cope with the many unexpected things that can pop up when you live on your own
  • support into education or employment
  • help you with your personal and family relationships
  • to be there for you, and never give up on you

How much contact you have depends on how much you need. But as a minimum your worker will see you every 8 weeks unless we both agree otherwise. When you first leave care though, you could be seeing each other several times a week.

As a young adult the decisions and choices you make are your own. Your PA will provide you with advice, information and guidance to help you make the best choices and decisions. The relationship between you and your PA is important, make the most of this and keep in touch.

All young people will have a dedicated PA (Personal Adviser) to support them from the age of 17 and 6 months. We will review your needs nearing your 21st birthday and offer support up to your 25th birthday in a way that is right for you.

The relationship between you and your PA is important. The better the relationship, the more you will benefit from having a PA. To make the most of your PA it’s important to keep in touch and agree how much contact you’d like. As a minimum your PA will visit you at least every 8 weeks. These visits will be arranged and agreed with you. We can keep in touch in other ways too – all PAs have an email address and mobile phone. You will also get a bi- monthly newsletter with useful information.

If you need help and your PA is not available, you can always contact our duty number on – 01782 233575. You can also drop in at our contact point at the Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke on Trent ST4 1HH.  We are available 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Fridays. Outside of these office hours, if you have an urgent problem please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01782 234234

Pathway plan

All care leavers  aged between 16  - 25 years should have a pathway plan. A pathway plan is a written document that helps everyone to understand what you need and what help and support you will get. You will work with your social worker or PA to develop your pathway plan. Your plan will be reviewed with you and updated at every 6 months.

Remember its your plan

It is important that you take part in writing your pathway plan because it is your plan for the future. It will be help you to think about what is important to you and who is going to help. The pathway plan will help you to set achievable goals with lots of support so you can get out of life what you really want.