Local Offer for Care Leavers
We understand that everyone is different and that your needs and wishes are unique to you. That is why we want to make sure that your support is based on working together with you and is agreed in a plan that is right for you.
We are committed, as your ‘corporate parents’, to ensure that you get the right access to services and support that you may need to be more independent as you approach adulthood. Through our Local Offer we will set out how we plan to do this.
We want to work with you to make sure that we:
Act in your best interests to promote your physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Encourage you to express your views, wishes and feelings and take those into account when making decisions with you.
Help you to gain access to, and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and the organisations it works with.
Have high aspirations for you and help you to achieve the best outcomes you can.
Make sure you are safe, and to have stability in your home life, relationships, education, work and financially.
Prepare you for adulthood and independent living.
Introducing the Local Offer
In 2017 the government asked us to set out how we would support our care leavers in what is now known as 'The Local Offer'. The offer will be published so that anyone, including you, can see the range of services and supports are available and how to access them. More importantly, the offer should let you know about services and support that you might need and to make sure that the right ones are agreed as part of your 'Pathway Plan' through your 'Personal Adviser' at the Leaving Care service.
Through the Children in Care Council, the Leaving Care Forum and care surveys that have been completed by children and young people in Wakefield we have listened to your views, experiences and opinions to better understand the things that matter to you so that these can form part of our offer.
We will continue to develop and improve our offer to you and want you to be at the centre of how we decide what we need to include. Therefore, we very much want you to take part in future work around building more things into the offer so that we make sure that we can afford to do the things that are important to you.
Your Personal Adviser will make sure you know about these opportunities and support you to take part in this work.
Role of the Leaving Care Team
The Leaving Care Team will make sure that you have a named Personal Adviser (PA) from the age of 16 and ensure that you know who that is and how to contact them.
Your Personal Adviser will:
Work with you to understand what support you might want or need.
Produce your own Pathway Plan with you that will record what you have agreed you need and how you will make sure that happens. Your plan will be reviewed at least every 6 months to make sure that it is still the right plan for you.
Keep in regular contact with you.
Ensure that you are provided with the right support you need either directly or through helping you to access other services. Your PA will have access to lots of other agencies and services that they may be able to support you.
Record what you need and what is being done to support you so that other people, that need to know, can see that this is happening as we would expect.
Support and Review your Pathway Plan
You will have your own Pathway Plan that sets out how you will be supported and your needs will be met.
How often you and your PA have contact will be agreed between you and this will be recorded in your Pathway Plan.
The Pathway Plan will also include:
Arrangements to support you in further education, training or employment.
Making sure that you are living in suitable accommodation; including any 'Staying Put' arrangements if you want to remain with your foster carers.
Understanding your health needs and how these will be best met.
Support for you around developing or keeping positive relationships, including with your family and friends.
Making sure you are properly supported and have the right skills as you move towards your independence.
Understanding your financial needs and assistance that may be needed.
Your PA is responsible for working with you to make sure that your Pathway Plan is checked regularly and reviewed at least every 6 months to make sure that it is still the right plan for you.
Our Local Offer will
Develop your independence skills
Work with you to understand what skills you have or might need.
Develop those skills that you want or need and at a time that is right for you.
Get your skills accredited with a certificate that you can show to others, including college or landlords.
Help you to manage your money.
Access to an independent person, an advocate (if it is felt that you need one), to make sure your views are heard.
Health and wellbeing
A health summary at 18 years of age so that you understand your health history.
Make sure you are registered with a doctors, dentists and opticians.
Provide information about health services in your local area.
Drop-in sessions for Care Leavers which includes information and advice on keeping healthy and promoting well-being.
Provision of Leisure Card which provides free access to leisure facilities and hobby and development opportunities.
Support you to establish and maintain safe and healthy relationships.
Opportunities for young people to meet, socialise and seek support through drop in sessions.
Flexible buddying/mentoring where young people are connected with officers across the Council and other organisations we work with.
Education and training
A Personal Education Plans (PEP) to support you with your learning.
Support to get into college and whilst you are learning.
Support to go to University or study a Higher Education course if that is what you choose to do.
Opportunity to become 'physical activity' champions where you have interests in sports, leisure and outdoor pursuits.
Access to learning programmes in our local Museums and Castles.
Access to Information, Advice and Guidance on work options and opportunities.
Employment preparation support, including CV writing and interview preparation.
Apprenticeships through the provision of placements across the Council.
Casual front line staffing opportunities (including Leisure, Libraries, Museums and Castles and Highways).
Business start-up advice.
Employment support including 'Works better' and other programmes.
Provide introductions to businesses who may be wishing to find out more about working at specific sites or access work experience.
'Get into Street Scene' programme apprentices or employment.
Support for care leavers with learning disabilities as part of wider approach to develop more effective access to those services.
Support you with your accommodation needs and steps towards independence.
Provision of Housing advice.
Provision of top priority 'Band 'A' for allocation of social housing.
A 'Setting Up Home Allowance' to buy the things you need to start off in your own accommodation.
A guide about the different types of accommodation available in the Wakefield district and beyond.
Intensive Support Advisors who are available to work with you in the semi supported accommodation to develop independence skills and are available for out of hours support when needed.
Act as 'Guarantor' where appropriate to assist in accessing accommodation.
Provide a 100% discount on Council tax until the age of 25.
Participation (involving you)
Access to the Leaving Care Forum that meets once a month to discuss issues that are important to you.
Opportunities for you to meet, socialise and seek support through 'drop ins'.
Opportunities for you to meet and socialise at age appropriate Achievement Awards that are designed and hosted in venues that meet the expressed wishes of young people.
Opportunities to shape the future of leaving care services.
A dedicated website for Children in Care and Care Leavers.
You have access to a social media page designed and created in consultation with young people.
Volunteering opportunities across the Council with links to Nova, the local voluntary and community organisations.
Information in the initial welcome pack about your financial entitlements.
Provision of advice around personal budgeting and managing living costs including access to Welfare Benefits
Weekly personal allowances, or support to access benefit claims, to ensure that you have an appropriate level of financial independence.
Access to a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who supports you with your benefit claims.
Support you to access Discretionary Housing Payments if they are available to you to support you with your rent costs.
A birthday and 'festival' allowance each year for things like Christmas or Eid.
A Setting Up Home Allowance (SUHA)
Support you to have a savings account at the earliest opportunity and a current account when you are eligible.
Support you with family contact over the age of 18 if you want or need that.
A form of ID, carrying your photo ID and date of birth. For example a citizen card or a passport at the earliest opportunity available to you.
Money for meals and travel when doing volunteer work.