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5.7.1 Leaving Care Team Operational Policy and Procedures


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Role of the Leaving Care Team
  3. Pathway Plans
  4. Accommodation
  5. Education and Training
  6. Employment
  7. Family and Social Relationships
  8. Skills (practical and other)
  9. Health Issues/Needs
  10. Financial Support
  11. Leaving Care Team Social Worker Role (Pathway Plan Reviewer)
  12. Care Leavers becoming Parents
  13. Unaccompanied Children from Abroad
  14. Access to Records
  15. Complaints and Representations

    Appendix A: Legal Terms and Statutory Responsibilities Flowchart

    Appendix B: What to Include in File Chronologies


1. Introduction

1.1 Aims

All young people are likely to need support during the transition to adulthood. Young People leaving care are likely to be particularly vulnerable due to their previous life experiences and the limited immediate family support. Blackburn with Darwen does not see leaving care as a process driven by the age of the young person, rather that plans for each individual will be based on a systematic assessment of their emotional maturity and coping skills. This policy and procedure sets out the principles and the practice by which we, along with other agencies, will support those young people who have been in Blackburn with Darwen's care to move into independence as positively as possible.

The team aims to:

  • Encourage the personal development and practical living skills of young people leaving care;
  • Work with young people leaving care to find employment/training;
  • Work with young people to access education;
  • Work with young people to maximise their income;
  • Work with young people to find suitable housing;
  • Work with young people in times of emergencies;
  • To involve young people in all assessment, planning, review and decision making arrangements for leaving care;
  • Meet the requirements of the Children Act and Blackburn with Darwen policies in relation to young people leaving care.

The team works in partnership with young people, carers and other statutory and voluntary agencies to achieve these aims.

1.2 Mission Statement

Blackburn with Darwen Leaving Care Team is committed to the development and provision of high quality services to our clients, who have been looked after by the local authority, or who are otherwise eligible for a leaving Care service.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and Adults at Risk. We expect all staff to share this commitment.

We are committed to helping care leavers achieve equal access to and equality of services irrespective of racial, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, mental health, HIV status, or geographic location within or without the borough.

We believe that excellence in planning and service provision is an achievable goal, to be measured by client satisfaction.

We are committed to helping young people leave care, but only when they are ready and willing to make the step into independent living.

We are committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community and aim to have a workforce reflecting this diversity.

1.3 Team Structure

Team structure


2. Role of the Leaving Care Team

2.1 Eligibility Criteria

All children and young people aged 16 and over who have been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since their 14th birthday (including their 16th birthday) are entitled to the full Leaving Care service. Those 13 weeks can be continuous or made up of separate episodes of care, but does not include short-term placements made by planned respite care. The following are the five different categories of young people who will fall under Leaving Care:

Definitions of categories of young people entitled to Leaving Care services:

Defined as Criteria of young person who:
Eligible Children
  • Is aged sixteen or seventeen; and
  • Has been looked after for a period of 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after he reached 14 and includes at least a day after 16 years;
  • Are still looked after;
  • Eligibility is not affected by additional status so if they are looked after as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking young person or when remanded to local authority care they are still eligible;
  • There is a duty to support these young people up to the age of 18, wherever they are living.
Relevant Children
  • Is aged 16-17;
  • Is no longer being looked after by any local authority;
  • Was, before ceasing to be looked after, an eligible child;
  • Two categories of relevant children, i.e. lone parents and disabled children;
  • Are treated as 'relevant' for all purposes, except that they are eligible for;
  • Income Support and Job Seeker's Allowance;
  • If, after leaving care, a young person returns home for a period of 6 months or more to be cared for by a parent and the return home has been formally agreed as successful, s/he will no longer be a 'relevant young person but instead will become a 'qualifying' young person (see below).

Additional Relevant Children

  • Is aged 16-17 who if having been in care for 3 months or more, is then detained after their 16th birthday either in a hospital, remand centre, young offenders' institution or secure training centre;
  • If immediately before being detained or admitted to hospital were accommodated by a local authority for a period of at least 13 weeks after reaching the age of 14. They will no longer be looked after, and may or may not still be detained or in hospital. If such a young person is on a care order they remain 'eligible children';
  • There is a duty to support Relevant Young People up to the age of 18, wherever they are living.

Former Relevant Children

  • Is aged 18-21 (or up to 24 if in full-time further or higher education);
  • Has been an eligible or relevant young person or would be one if s/he were under 18; or
  • Immediately before s/he ceased to be looked after was an eligible young person;
  • If at the age of 21 the young person is still being helped by the local authority with full-time education or training, he or she remains a former relevant child to the end of the agreed programme.
Qualifying
  • Over the age of 16 but under twenty one (or up to 24 if in full-time further or higher education);
  • Who was looked after prior to the making of a special guardianship order which is in force or was in force when he reached 18;
  • At any time after reaching the age of sixteen but while still a child was but is no longer looked after, accommodated or fostered;
  • Was privately fostered and is assessed to be in need.

The local authority will provide written information informing them about their entitlement to an assessment and the range of services that they can expect to receive.

Eligibility will apply whether they are in care because of a Care Order or are accommodated by a local authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989. The provisions apply regardless of any other special status they may have, for example, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who are Looked After under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, or children who are remanded into local authority accommodation.

Eligibility continues to apply to young people until they reach the age of 21 or, if they are receiving support with education or training, to the end of the agreed programme even if that takes them past the age of 21. In accordance with Section 24B(5) of the Children Act 1989, the local authority must also provide either vacation accommodation or the means to secure it should this be necessary for those young people in Higher Education or in residential Further Education courses for all care leavers up to the age of 25.

It is important to remember that there are various categories of young people to whom the local authority has a duty under Children Act 1989, but who have not been in care and therefore are not entitled to assistance under the Leaving Care Act 2000; these young people are also referred to as Children in Need. These young people will be entitled to advice and assistance, but generally not any financial assistance. This category will also apply to young people who have left care before age 16, regardless of the amount of time spent in care.

2.2 Leaving Care Assessment of Need

Eligible, Relevant or Former Relevant young people must receive a multi-agency assessment of their needs as to the advice, assistance and support they will need when leaving care. The young person's existing Care Plan, together with information from the most recent Child and Family Assessment, will form the basis for the Pathway Plan. All young people who transition over to leaving care will have had a care plan written by the social worker prior to the young person transitioning to Leaving Care.

This assessment should be completed no more than 3 months after the young person's 16th birthday or after the young person becomes Eligible or Relevant if this is later. The timetable must take account of any forthcoming exams and avoid disrupting the young person's preparation for them. This will take place before the young person enters Leaving Care.

The young person's social worker will be responsible for recording the assessment information and conclusions as well as the outcome of any meetings held through the Care Planning process.

Where the young person refuses to engage in the assessment process, this should be recorded, together with any actions taken to ascertain the young person's views.

All parties, including the social worker's manager, should sign the completed plan. The young person should be provided with a copy in a format that is accessible to him or her within 2 weeks. The social worker is responsible for ensuring that the outcome of the assessment is explained to the young person.

Where the young person continues to be Looked After, the Placement Plan should describe what arrangements have been made within the placement to support the Pathway Plan.

2.3 Personal Advisors (PA) and Case Responsibility

All eligible, relevant and former relevant young people (as described in Section 2.1, Eligibility Criteria) will have a PA who will assist in the completion of a Pathway Plan, making sure that the plan develops with the young person's changing needs. The PA will also be responsible for the implementation of that plan and ‘act as a focal point’ to make sure the young person has access to the appropriate services, including those provisions to enable them to develop some financial management capability'.

The PA will keep in touch with the young person until the minimum age of 21 (or up to 25 if in education/training) and will be responsible for ensuring that the young person receives all the support and advice they are entitled to.

Qualifying young people will have the support and advice of a named PA, they will have a leaflet to inform them of their status.

If the young person is Looked After, case responsibility will be held by a social worker until the young person ceases to be Looked After (usually 18). When the young person is not Looked After, the PA will hold case and can complete the Pathway Plan.

PAs will have responsibility for providing or facilitating all the support and services that are described in this policy and procedures document unless otherwise stated. They will ensure the co-ordination of other agencies and individuals identified in the Pathway Plan.

The PA is seen as a ‘function’ rather than a specific person and the local authority should consider delegating it wholly or partially to the best person able to carry out the role out. (See Part 3, Regulation 8 of the Care Leavers (England) Regulations).

The PA should be someone who is best able engage with the young person and motivate them to take up, and best make use of, the services that are available and provided.

It would be good practice were possible and appropriate for the PA to maintain the same person from 18 years from when they were an Eligible or Relevant child. However, this will not always be possible, although the Personal Adviser should have the necessary skills and experience to carry out the function. The transfer of the role should be undertaken in a planned and managed way.

When allocating a personal adviser to an individual young person, consideration must be given to the wishes of the young person and to issues of gender, race, religion, linguistics, disabilities and issues of diversity and difference. The assessment of need and a judgement as to who is most appropriate to fulfil the role of personal adviser will influence the choice and allocation of worker.

2.4 Keeping in Touch

Keeping in touch can mean contact via a personal visit by the PA to the young person's accommodation, an office visit by the young person, a phone call or a letter/email, but must solicit a response from the young person. The Children Act states that eligible young people must have contact from their worker at least every 8 weeks. The Leaving Care Act states that relevant and former relevant young people must have contact at least one every six months for Pathway Plan reviews. However, to comply with best practice guidelines, the Leaving Care Team will strive to ensure that all relevant and former relevant young people will have contact at least once every 2 months, preferably more often if possible. According to Quality Protects guidelines, young people must receive contact at least four times in their 19th year.

There may be occasions when the PA will have to make enquiries as to the whereabouts of a young person to facilitate this contact. In these cases, the PA will take all reasonable steps to establish contact, but ensure that these attempts do not harass the young person.

2.5 Record Keeping and Case Files

Each worker will keep records of any contact regarding any of their cases, including: visits with the young person, telephone/email/text message contacts with the young person, and contact with other professionals or agencies regarding the young person whether by telephone, email, letter or in person. The worker will strive to adhere to the following guidelines in writing these records:

  • Records should be written in such a way as to be understandable and useful to the reader. It will be assumed that the reader may be the young person, a professional from another agency, a worker to whom the case has been transferred, or court officials. In making the records easily understandable, the worker will avoid jargon and abbreviations;
  • Records do have the function of evidencing work done with the case, but their main function is to communicate information. Records exist to facilitate the treatment, care and support of the young person and should be viewed as equally important to hands-on work because of their value to professionals who may be involved with the case in the future;
  • If possible, records should be written contemporaneously. When this is not possible, notes can be made to serve as an aid memoir, but the record must be written within 24 hours of the event. All such notes or aid memoirs should be retained, but do not need to be kept in the case file;
  • Records should be written in the first person. For example, "I visited the home on an unannounced visit on..." or "I observed that the client smelled of alcohol" etc;
  • Records should focus on details - any action taken should be recorded along with a detailed explanation of the circumstances and rationale for any such action. For example, if a decision is made that a young person will be referred to CAMHS, the records should detail all the reasons for this action and include any behaviour or circumstances giving rise to the decision. Recording the details are at least as important as recording the action - neither should be left out. Records should be detailed enough that if the case was transferred to another worker tomorrow, the new worker would have enough information and understanding of the case to continue support immediately;
  • Records must include the date and time of the contact or visit, in addition to the date and time of when it was typed/written up;
  • Records must include the signature and printed name of the worker.
Records will be filed in the case files according to the new system of filing, as laid out in Children's Services policy and procedures. Information on this can be found on the council intranet, however files must include a current chronology and key data sheet, and all correspondence and records should be filed by date in ascending order, so that anyone reading the file could read it as a book. Copies of all required file documents are kept by admin. Young people who are still Looked After will have purple LAC files, and those who have left care will have orange files.


3. Pathway Plans

The Pathway Plan should be pivotal to the process whereby the young people map out their future, articulating their aspirations and identifying interim goals along the way to realising their ambitions. Each young person will be involved in compiling their own plan, setting out their own goals and identifying with their PA how the local authority will help them. The Pathway Plan will require multi-agency input to ensure effective transition into adulthood and the provision of appropriate adult based services. This will be done in consultation of the young person`s wishes and feelings.

The young person always owns the plan. The format for the Pathway Plan will always be the Blackburn with Darwen Pathway Plan, which has been modelled closely on the Pathway Plan published by the Department of Health.

The Pathway Plan Part 1 Assessment will be completed by the social worker who holds case responsibility The Pathway Plan Part 2 will be completed by the PA. A young person must have had a Pathway Plan Assessment and completed Pathway Plan by the time s/he is 16 years and 3 months of age, which will be reviewed at least once every 6 months, or if the young person or PA requests any additional reviews. Once a young person becomes 18 the social worker will close the case and the Pathway Plan will be the responsibility of the PA.

The Designated Manager (Leaving Care) should approve and sign the Pathway Plan.

The Pathway Plan only supports a young person leaving care when they are happy to do so, and when they evidence appropriate skills are in place Where a transfer from Children's to Adult Services will be required, the Plan should specify who has responsibility for giving notice to Adult Services and liaising with them to ensure a smooth transition.

On completion and approval of the Pathway Plan, all parties involved including the young person should sign it.

The young person will be provided with a copy of the most up to date Pathway Plan and the contents must be explained.

The young person will have a say about with whom the Pathway Plan will be shared when they leave care. If information is to be shared with a person or agency that the young person has not consented to, s/he must be informed of this, with reasons, and be given the opportunity to challenge this decision and to be present when the information is shared.

Those who have a role in implementing the plan should have a copy of the Pathway Plan, at least, of the part relating to their contribution.

The Pathway Plan should include:

  • The Pathway Plan will require multi-agency input to ensure effective transition into adulthood and the provision of appropriate adult based services. This will be done in consultation of the young person`s wishes and feelings;
  • Health needs and emotional wellbeing;
  • The plan for the young person's continuing education or training when he/she ceases to be looked after - where the young person is no longer of statutory school age, the Pathway Plan may need to incorporate the goals and actions that were previously included in the PEP;
  • How the Responsible Local Authority will assist the young person in obtaining employment or other purposeful activity or occupation, taking into account his/her aspirations, skills and educational potential;
  • The financial support to be provided to enable the young person to meet accommodation and maintenance costs; taking into account his/her financial capabilities and money-management capacity, along with strategies to develop skills in this area;
  • The nature and level of contact and personal support to be provided, and by whom, to the young person;
  • Details of the accommodation the young person is to occupy (including an assessment of its suitability in the light of the young person's needs, and details of the considerations taken into account in assessing that suitability);
  • Details of the arrangements made by the Responsible Local Authority to meet the young person's needs in relation to his or her identity, with particular regard to their religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
  • The Pathway Plan must identify contingency arrangements that will come into effect to support the young person if, for whatever reason, the planned arrangements are not realised;
  • A Financial Summary will be included in the Plan, at the latest position from the point where the young person leaves care.

Reviews of Pathway Plans

The Pathway Plan must be reviewed at least every 6 months. Where the young person is under 18 years of age this will be the responsibility of the social worker; where the young person is over 18 years of age this will be completed by the PA and reviewed by a qualified social worker. Pathway Plans reviews should incorporate a multi-agency input.

Reviews should take place more often if requested by the young person or the Personal Adviser or where there has been a significant change in the young person's circumstances.

The purpose of the review is to check that the goals and milestones are still right and that they are being met. All levels of support should be reviewed to ensure that they are adequate and delivered according to plan.

For a Relevant Young Person, the date for the first review will, if possible, be set at the last Looked After Review before the young person ceases to be looked after and in any case within six months of becoming a relevant young person.

For a Former Relevant Young Person, the date for the first review will take place within six months of the young person's 18th birthday.

The Team Manager of the Leaving Care Service or his/her nominee will chair the Pathway Plan reviews or support the young person to chair for the former relevant young person only.

The review immediately prior to the young person's 18th birthday will agree how future reviews will be conducted, including whether they will involve face to face meetings, and this will be recorded by the Chairperson. In all cases, even when no formal review meetings are held, the Team Manager of the Leaving Care Service will retain a monitoring role, at six monthly intervals, to check the progress of the Pathway Plan.

Other participants at reviews should include the young person, Personal Adviser, the social worker (if the case is still allocated) and any other significant person.

If the Relevant Young Person or Former Relevant Young Person moves to 'unregulated' accommodation (i.e. accommodation that is not regulated/inspected by OFSTED), the Local Authority must:

  1. Arrange a review 7 days (or as soon as practicable thereafter but no later than 28 days) from the time the accommodation is provided; and
  2. Determine at what intervals (not exceeding six months) subsequent reviews will be carried out;
  3. Reviews should be brought forward where there is an assessed risk that a crisis may develop in a young person's life, for example:
    • Where a young person has been charged with an offence and there is a possibility of their being sentenced to custody, which will risk losing their accommodation;
    • Where a young person is at risk of being evicted from his or her accommodation or otherwise threatened with homelessness;
    • Where professionals are concerned about the parenting capacity of a 'Relevant' or 'Former Relevant' young person with there being a possibility that their own child may need to be the subject of a multi-agency safeguarding plan;
    • Where a young person requests a review.

In the event of a Relevant or Former Relevant Young Person breaking off contact and/or not engaging with the agreed support and advice being offered, a review of the Pathway Plan may take place by telephone, e-mail or letter, if agreed in advance by the Chairperson and the Personal Adviser. In these circumstances the Personal Adviser will attempt to negotiate a revised plan that is acceptable to all parties.

Where contact is lost, the emphasis of the Pathway Plan Review will switch to record how attempts will be made to re-establish contact and these efforts will be reviewed within the established system.

A route back for the young person to seek support in the future should be kept open and communicated, for example by sending birthday cards and appropriate festive greetings, and ensuring that the young person receives any circulated information about services or events in which they may have an interest.

Where a Pathway Plan is amended as a result of a review, the Personal Adviser will amend the Plan. Any necessary approval to the amended financial arrangements will be sought from the Designated Manager (Leaving Care). Once the changes are approved, the Personal Adviser will send a copy of the amended Plan to the young person, the Chairperson and the Designated Manager.

The local authority should have a flexible approach to supporting young people; It should be borne in mind that the it has a duty to accept young people aged 16 and 17 years back in to care if a young person’s decision to move into semi-independent accommodation, leave care or decline leaving care services is then identified as premature.


4. Accommodation

4.1 Introduction

Young people who are eligible for a Leaving Care service are to be supported with their accommodation needs under the auspices of the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers and the Children Leaving Care Act 2000.

Accommodation is often one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of moving to independence, and also one of the foundations on which many other aspects of a young person's life are established, such as education, training, employment, avoiding drug/alcohol misuse, maintaining positive relationships, etc.

When young people leave their care placement the Local Authority must ensure that their new home is suitable for their needs and linked to their wider plans and aspirations, for example located near their education or work. Moving directly from a care placement to living independently will often be too big a step for young people. Therefore the Leaving Care Team has commissioned a range of semi-independent and independent living options with appropriate support, for example supported accommodation schemes and supported lodgings.

In this respect, it is vital that the PA and the Leaving Care Team in general do their best to ensure that all young people are in suitable and appropriate housing. This is evidenced by:

  • Planned moves towards independence, using clear and flexible accommodation and support pathways, for every care leaver;
  • Maintain or develop family support where safe and appropriate;
  • On-going support to ensure young people are able to maintain their accommodation, and early intervention if things start to go wrong;
  • A personalised support package, based on a full assessment of needs and involving all appropriate agencies, to help young people achieve their aspirations and make a positive transition to adulthood;
  • Access to safe, secure and appropriate emergency accommodation if, exceptionally, accommodation arrangements do break down, followed by quick re-entry into more settled housing and support services.

The Leaving Care Team is responsible for paying accommodation/housing costs for all eligible and relevant young people, as well as any former relevant young people in higher or further education who cannot apply for Housing Benefit. Qualifying young people are also entitled to vacation accommodation if in higher/further education. See Section 10.1, Summary of Financial Support of this document or the Financial Policy document for more details.

4.2 Major Housing Provider

At present, Twin Valley is the council's major provider for housing association properties.

When applying for a Twin Valleys property, the young person should be directed to the Housing Needs Team to apply for the B-With-Us programme. A B-With-Us registration number will be issued by post, or it can be obtained by telephone a few days after the initial application. A three-way meeting will then be arranged with Housing Needs, Twin Valley Homes and the young person. The PA should accompany the young person to this meeting with a copy of the young person’s Pathway Plan. At the three-way meeting a decision will be made as to whether or not the young person will be entitled to priority status, which will weight their applications for properties and allow them to be offered a property more quickly. In order to maintain priority status, the young person must be actively looking each week by viewing the list of available properties published every Thursday on the internet. A bid on a property can also be done by ringing the B-With-Us telephone number, giving their B-With-Us registration number and the information on the property (or properties) to express their interest. Each week the young person will be supported by the housing needs officer who will also look at the suitability of the properties on the B-With-Us list.

If a young person is given a property from Twin Valley, and subsequently leaves it, s/he will not be given priority points again (based on their Leaving Care status) should they apply for another Twin Valley home in the future. If arrears are accrued, these must be paid off before Twin Valley will consider any further applications for properties.

If Blackburn with Darwen is not the 'responsible authority' for the young person (for instance if they were taken into care by another authority and have since moved to Blackburn), s/he will not be entitled to priority points based on their Leaving Care status, although this does not stop the young person from applying from properties normally.

4.3 General Support upon Moving into a New Tenancy

The PA should offer general advice and assistance in applying for housing, including obtaining and completing application forms (if applicable). Once the young person has been offered a private tenancy or housing association accommodation, the PA should:

  1. Accompany the young person to sign for the tenancy, ensuring that they understand the tenancy agreement;
  2. Assist the young person in applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit - more information on applying for these benefits can be found in Section 10.4, State Benefits;
  3. Apply for a Leaving Care Grant, if applicable;
  4. When moving in is imminent, assist the young person in arranging for utilities: water, electricity, gas, etc.

4.4 Presenting as Homeless

If a young person presents as homeless the PA will contact Housing Needs at Blackburn Town Hall to look at emergency accommodation.

4.5 Other Accommodation Options

Supported Lodgings

Blackburn with Darwen Leaving Care Team run a supported lodging scheme within Blackburn with Darwen.

Supported Lodgings is a form of supported accommodation for young people who are eligible for a leaving care service by the Leaving Care Team within Blackburn with Darwen Council.

They are provided by private individuals who offer a room in their home and varying levels of support to the young person. A Pathway Plan will be in place that stipulates the type and level of support to be provided.

Private Tenancies

Leaving Care Team work very closely with the YMCA and Private Providers (that are registered and tendered with North West Placements), details for which can be obtained from the Manager of the Leaving Care Team.

There are also a number of private landlords in the area, however there are a number of issues that make this option less desirable than housing association properties: there may be deductions to Housing Benefit depending on various circumstances including the number of bedrooms in the property, and private tenancies can be more difficult to monitor for quality. Private tenancies also require deposits, which can in some cases be paid out of the Leaving Care Grant. However, the there is a rent deposit scheme which is always a better option if possible; more details on this scheme can be obtained from the Housing Needs Team.

Supported Accommodation

The Leaving Care Team use a wide range of approved providers such as the foyer YMCA or private providers such as Davlin House and Brighter Futures. The use of these suppliers is limited to their tendering to the local authority. The support delivered varies according to the young person’s needs. Any rent is covered by Housing Allowance if the young person is eligible to claim it. Support costs are usually paid by the Leaving Care Team unless other streams of funding are available.

Hostels

Hostels in the area include: Night safe (for short-term arrangements), 23 Preston Old Road, Bridge Street Hostel, and Canterbury House etc.

Bed and Breakfast (B & B)

Note: Bed and Breakfast Accommodation is not considered as suitable accommodation other than in exceptional circumstances. On such occasions:

  • The placement should be limited to two working days;
  • The Local Authority provides appropriate supervision and contact with the young person.

7.12, DfE The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (January 2015)

4.6 "Staying Put"

Former Relevant young people who wish to remain with their foster carers after the age 18 should be enabled to do so as long as the carers and young person wish the arrangement to continue. It is essential that carer's Family Placement Team Supervising Social Worker and PA are fully involved in any planning processes which may result from a young person continuing to live with carers beyond the age of 18. Such arrangements may affect carer's fostering status which may require presentation to the foster panel. It may also be necessary to for the impact upon any other children in the foster home to be taken into consideration. The young person's status will be that of any other adult living in the household and the implications of this should be discussed at an early stage with the carers. It is crucial that they understand that the placement will no longer be a foster placement, the young person will cease to be Looked After and the placement will fall outside the Fostering Regulations. The carer needs to be made fully aware of the change in income and the taxation implications of the new arrangements as they will no longer have the same tax exemptions as fostering payments have. Children's Social Care cannot provide detailed advice on issues so the carers should be signposted to other agencies for this specific advice.

Meeting to be arranged by PA, foster carer and supervising social worker to discuss continuing care arrangements and the best way to support the continuing care placement.

For a young person living in foster care, the first Looked After Review following his or her 16th birthday should consider whether a Staying Put placement should be an option (this should be discussed at review). This will entail assessing the implications for both the young person and the foster carer, and should be carried out by the social worker.

Following the young person's 18th birthday, the legal basis on which they occupy the property (former foster home) changes (the legal term is that the young person becomes an 'excluded licensee' lodging in the home) - this should not denote that the young person will be treated differently than they were as a fostered child.

Procedures should be agreed at the outset about how any wish by the carer to bring the arrangements to an end should be managed.

While Fostering Regulations will no longer legally apply to these arrangements, key standards should continue to govern the expectations of the placement when the young person reaches 18 and young people will still have a current Pathway Plan which will be reviewed on a six monthly basis which will cover the Staying Put arrangement.

The Local Authority will need to assess individual circumstances and consider the appropriateness of all of these checks particularly where the young person is the only person placed/living with their carer/s and it is not envisaged that further children will be placed.

4.7 Where Care Leavers Live or Move to a Different Local Authority Area

Whenever possible, plans for movement of care leavers to a different local authority area must be discussed and the level of service provision agreed with the host authority concerned prior to the move taking place.

All care leavers should be advised on how to access care leavers' services if they move to a different local authority area and need assistance. The advice provided should be in written form.


5. Education and Training

5.1 General Support

The PA will reference closely the Personal Education Plan as well as liaise with the young person's area advisor when developing the Pathway Plan, which will be used to plan and track the educational progress of the young person while they are with the Leaving Care Team. The PA will take reasonable steps to ensure that the young person is in a stable placement in order for him/her to make the most of educational opportunities.

The local authority should make every effort not to disrupt a young person’s education during their key stage 4 years, both in terms of their school and care placement unless the circumstances clearly require this (see also Education of Looked After Children).

The Leaving Care Team will assist the young person in accessing education and training with a view to preparing the young person for employment and independent living. The PA will liaise with any other organisations, agencies, colleges, or projects and programmes (including Connexions) to ensure that the young person's educational needs are met. The PA will be responsible for applying for any financial support or accommodation provision that the young person is entitled to as a result of their educational status.

5.2 Liaising with Educational Professionals

When a new case is transferred to the Leaving Care Team, the allocated worker may contact the Education Support Team to discuss the current educational position of the young person and to plan for any future educational support that young person may need. This contact can also give the new worker a view of the young person's prospects as well as help the worker plan future support in a way that is best suited to the young person's abilities and interests. Informed planning for education, employment and training are vital to the young person's move to independence and every effort must be made to ensure that the transition to Leaving Care is seamless in this respect.

5.3 Educational Projects and Programmes

The some programmes for education are as follows:

  • Princes Trust: The Princes Trust is for young people aged 16 - 25 and is a 12-week programme focusing on such topics as working as a team, motivation, self-esteem and personal development. The programme includes a one-week residential and a community project, where the group of young people organise and perform a voluntary project in the community. There also is a tutor available to offer help with literacy and numeracy. The programme has an aim to assist young people in finding either work placements or suitable training/education following the project;
  • Blackburn College: The Leaving Care Team has an arrangement with Blackburn College whereby PAs are treated as a 'parent' for purposes of sharing information on attendance, etc, and accompanying young people attending interviews. They also have introduced an identifier during enrolment for young people under the Leaving Care Team, which helps college staff identify these young people for extra help and support, as well as facilitating liaison between college staff and the Leaving Care Team. Blackburn College has a variety of courses, including NVQs, vocational courses, and Foundation Degrees. It is also envisaged that in future there will be much more close work done with college staff to develop opportunities and improve the success rate of Leaving Care young people.

5.4 Young People Aged 21 - 25

Where a young people who was previously entitled to after care services resumes a programme of progressive education or training after the age of twenty one they are able to request continuing support from a personal adviser.

The definition of a programme of education or training must be interpreted broadly. For example, this might include options such as: completion of a basic skills course, so that the young person has the numeracy and literacy skills needed to compete in the jobs market; take up of a course of further education; take up of a university place; support to enable the young person to complete a recognised postgraduate qualification; or participation in vocational training and apprenticeships.

The personal adviser/manager will make an assessment of the appropriateness of the education or training course in meeting the young person's aspirations and detail the practical and financial support required. A new Pathway Plan should be completed with a specific focus on the support that the care leaver needs and should expect to be able to meet the education or training goals agreed. This goal may range from the completion of a basic skills course, so that the young person has the numeracy and literacy skills needed to compete in the jobs market, or support to enable the young person to complete a recognised postgraduate qualification.

The extent of practical and financial assistance provided will depend on the assessment of the young person’s needs and will reflect the type of course, whether it is full or part time and the young person’s existing income.

All care leavers (including those who live out of authority) should be made aware of their entitlement to a Personal Adviser up to age 25 if they wish to return to education and training, including by the provision of information (e.g. a letter or leaflet) on how to get in touch in the future. It should be explained to them that they will be supported to overcome difficulties so that they can return to education or training up to age 25 if this is their wish. In particular, all young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET) should be encouraged to take up this offer of support.

This entitlement to resume the Pathway Planning process and a support relationship with a Personal Adviser starts from the time the young person informs the local authority of their intention to resume their education or training and ends with the completion of the course. This may include the need for continuing assistance where young people seek support to complete a series of education/training opportunities. Young people do not need to have decided what education or training they would like to pursue. In such cases, the Personal Adviser should help the young person identify the options best suited to them.

Care leavers will need support and guidance to help them think about and plan their return to education or training, consider all aspects such as financial support and impact on housing or benefits. The re-instated Pathway Plan must have a specific focus on the support that the care leaver will need to be able to meet the education or training goals agreed.

5.5 Young People in Custody

If a young person is on remand or serving a custodial sentence they will be fully maintained within the institution and so will not be entitled to a personal allowance. Young people in custody may have the opportunity to earn pocket money/weekly allowance whilst in custody but where this is not available to them, Leaving Care will consider paying a small allowance each month. Requests for exceptional payments for items such as clothing and educational equipment will be considered in line with current procedures for other care leavers. In appropriate cases, care leavers in custody will also be supported to apply for a College Bursary prior to release if they have a confirmed college course on release. In order to maintain and facilitate contact with family and professionals it is possible to send stamps and stationery to the young person for their use whilst in custody. Individual institutions will need to be contacted for information about their internal procedure for this.

Assistance with arrangements for release will be considered in accordance with relevant procedures and entitlements.

Where a Relevant or Former Relevant Young Person enters custody, Pathway Planning must continue. The young person must be visited on a regular basis and it is good practice for the first visit to take place within ten working days. The role must not be fulfilled by a YOT worker. The Local Authority must liaise with the YOT or Probation Provider to support the young person emotionally, practically and financially while in custody. A review of the Pathway Plan should be carried out at least a month before the young person's release to give sufficient time to plan for his or her resettlement, including identifying suitable accommodation where the young person's placement had to be given up or has been lost and identifying who will collect the young person and the sources of support after his or her release.

This is the responsibility of the social worker where the young person is under 18 years of age or the PA for those over 18 years of age.


6. Employment

6.1 General Support

The Pathway Plan will set out how the responsible authority will assist the young person in employment or seeking employment. The PA will take into account the young person's achievements and potential and their capabilities as far as employment is concerned, develop links with local employers, work with the young person to increase his/her employability, and identify sources of support for the young person. The PA will liaise with the Jobcentre and be responsible for ensuring that the young person receives any benefits s/he is entitled to (see Section 10.4, State Benefits of this document or the Leaving Care Team Financial Policy for more information about benefits). The PA will also assist the young person with developing his/her job-seeking skills including: writing CVs, filling in applications and interviewing skills, which may require seeking support for the young person from other teams, such as the Neighbourhood Learning Centres and the Jobcentre.

The PA will also offer support and advice for the young person regarding employment issues, including developing knowledge of employee rights and responsibilities.


7. Family and Social Relationships

The Personal Adviser will work with the young person e.g. in the case of 16 and 17 year olds co-work with the social worker to ensure that relationships with the young person’s family, previous carers or significant others are maintained or resumed. In some cases it may be necessary for the young person to be supported to access their social services files in order to find information relevant to their family identity.

Young people should be actively encouraged to develop leisure and social interests. In order to do so, it may be necessary for the young person to be supported by the Leaving Care PA with issues such as developing self-esteem and confidence in social situations, or identifying hobbies, activities or interests they can become involved with. Sometimes support offered may be financial and in accordance with the Leaving Care Team’s financial policies and procedures.


8. Skills (practical and other)

The PA will ensure that the young person is sign posted to the relevant agencies for support, advice and guidance to enable the young person to develop the necessary skills for independent living. This will include: budgeting, shopping for food, personal hygiene, timekeeping, basic home maintenance, managing a tenancy and any other skills that the young person would need to develop to live independently.

The PA will ensure that the young person has access to information, advice and guidance from the relevant agencies in relation to preparation for employment and to increase their employability skills/experience.

The development of practical and other skills may include supporting the young person to work through the Getting Ready for Adult Life Pack – Transitions to Adulthood.


9. Health Issues/Needs

The areas of priority for care leavers are:

  • Access to Universal Services – GP, Dentist and Optician;
  • Emotional and Mental Health – anxiety, depression and conduct disorders;
  • Healthy Relationships – sexual health, sexuality, sexual activity, contraception and STI’s;
  • Unplanned pregnancy;
  • Substance Misuse – including the use of alcohol and tobacco;
  • Lifestyle and Well-being – including diet and physical activity;
  • Complex Needs;

General Health Needs

The Specialist Nurse for Care Leavers (Helen Hargreaves) is responsible for co-ordinating the health care of all care leavers post 18 years who are open to the Leaving Care Service.

The Specialist Nurse will work alongside the Leaving Care Teams’ Social Worker and be actively involved in the reviewing of Pathway Plans.

The Personal Advisor will ensure that the young person has access to universal services. The young person will be registered with a GP, Optician and have access to an Optician. The Personal Advisor is responsible for supporting care leavers applying for any financial assistance for which they are eligible – (NHS Form HC1).

The Child and Family Health Service (CFHS) undertake statutory annual health assessments with care leavers up until their 18th Birthday. The youth nurses and designated nurse for LAC work closely with the specialist nurse for care leavers to provide a smooth transition from child – adult health services.

Young people aged 16 – 25 who are open to the Leaving Care Team are able to access the weekly drop in ran by the Specialise Nurse for Care Leavers who will offer health support, information and guidance as required.

Alternatively for those Young People under 18, contact Sheila Morris, Designated Nurse for Looked After Children, Tel: 0793 2803 961 or email: s.morris@blackburn.gov.uk

Emotional/Mental Health

Following initial consultation with the specialist nurse, referrals can be made directly either by the Specialist Nurse or the PA to the Community Mental Health Assessment and Treatment Team. GP’s can also arrange these referrals if preferred. This is a dedicated Mental Health Team available to support emotional wellbeing by offering a personal service, tailored to the needs of the individual. 

Leaving Care PAs should have an awareness of local provision for other therapeutic support that may be available by other agencies. This ensures that the emotional wellbeing of care-leavers are met through access to relevant and timely service provision. Any referrals to other agencies must be discussed with the Specialist Nurse in the first instance.

In addition to Mental Health Services, PA’s are asked to complete a health snapshot questionnaire during their eight weekly visits with the care leavers. The plan is to maximise the positive relationships that the PA’s have with the care leavers by asking them to complete a short yes/no questionnaire during their visit. By capturing this information every eight weeks we are adopting a proactive preventative approach for care leavers’ emotional health and well-being allowing the Specialist Nurse to evaluate the responses to provide early identification, leading to early intervention to appropriate services which in turn will contribute to leading a healthier/happier lifestyle, promoting the outcomes of care leavers.

Healthy Relationships

Care leavers will be supported to access information regarding sexual health, sexual activity, contraception and STI’s. The Specialist Nurse works closely with local Sexual Health Services to provide care leavers with access to contraception, sexual health promotion and sexual health clinics. Care leavers can access these services either with their PA or the Specialist Nurse depending on their preference. All care leavers have the opportunity to access free contraception from the Specialist Nurse.

Young Parents

The Specialist Nurse and the care leavers’ PAs are to support care leavers who are due to become parents to attend GP and midwifery appointments to ensure the health needs of their unborn child. PA’s can refer the parent(s) to the Early Start Health Visiting Programme. The care leaver’s consent will be required for any such referral. The core business of the Early Start Programme is to provide an intensive health visiting, early intervention, preventative programme of care to Blackburn with Darwen’s most vulnerable families who are expecting their first child, engaging with these families early in the ante-natal period, until the first child reaches the age of two years. Care leavers are prioritised in the programme entry criteria, hence all first time parents who have left care are eligible for this support. Support is offered by health visitor key workers focusing on improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for the child and family. Health will be consulted with regards to the Pathway Plan (this could be the specialist nurse, health visitor, school nurse or the designated Looked After Nurse).

Substance Misuse

The Specialist Nurse works closely with local agencies and can provide support to care leavers who wish to seek support for smoking/alcohol/substance misuse. The Specialist Nurse can refer directly into services or work with the care leaver directly to offer support and guidance. Any referrals into substance misuse services must be co-ordinated by the Specialist Nurse.

Healthy Lifestyle

The Leaving Care PA will promote healthy living to the young person through healthy life-style choice and encouraging leisure interests and hobbies, including ensuring that each young person who resides within local authority boundaries has access to a Gold Beez Card and is able to access services. Diet and exercise will be discussed and promoted during pathway plan reviews and when appropriate. Health promotion information can be sourced from external agencies and via the Specialist Nurse.

Complex Needs

The Leaving Care Team will work in partnership with other departments and agencies to ensure the health needs of young people with complex needs are met and all relevant agencies are involved. The Specialist Nurse has the responsibility to oversee the health needs of all care leavers, including those with disabilities, complex needs and those within the judicial system. It is the responsibility of the PA’s to communicate any changes in health to the Specialist Nurse to ensure consistency and continuity in care.


10. Financial Support

10.1 Summary of Financial Support

Financial support from the Leaving Care Team will fall into one of six categories and entitlement to each will depend on the young person's age and legal status. A summary of the guidelines for each category follows below, although a detailed outline of the team's financial policy can be found in the document entitled "Leaving Care Financial Policy" on the council intranet.

  1. Accommodation Costs: Eligible and relevant young people are entitled to accommodation costs, as they are not allowed to claim housing benefit. Former relevant young people who are 19 and over in full-time education are also unable to claim housing benefit, and so the Leaving Care Team can cover these costs. Young people that are allowed to claim Housing Benefit should do so, and the PA should be proactive in ensuring that this takes place. Young people over 18 (whether former relevant or qualifying) are entitled to vacation accommodation if they are in higher education or residential further education. Please note that no accommodation costs or rent will be paid to family or friends of the young person, although the young person should be encouraged to make payments out of their allowances to contribute to their maintenance. See the Financial Policy for guidance on foster care;
  2. Weekly Allowance: Eligible care leavers aged between 16-18 years of age a weekly allowance will be paid, which is in line with the national weekly benefit payment;
  3. Leaving Care Grants: These grants can be given to relevant or former relevant young people to assist in their move to independence. In some circumstances, part of this grant can be used before the young person leaves care to buy items to personalise their room in supported accommodation, for example. The current value of this allowance can be found in the Financial Policy, Appendix A;
  4. Miscellaneous Payments: These payments can be given to any young person regardless of legal status, however it is important that these payments are used sparingly. See the Financial Policy for guidance as to when these payments can be used, however they should routinely be made for such things as passports and copies of birth certificates. Where a young person is in financial crisis, other alternatives (e.g. food parcels) should be considered first before cash is given;
  5. Passport: Eligible, relevant and former relevant young people should have a valid passport, for identification purposes. Children's Social Care will fund the cost of the first passport whilst the young person was looked after. The details of this passport must be recorded in the Pathway Plan. Any replacement (due to loss or theft) during this period will not be paid for by Children's Social Care. If the young person had a passport obtained prior to the age of 11 which expires within this prescribed period, one renewal will be paid for by Children's Services. Unaccompanied young people from abroad will be assisted to obtain documentation setting out their status regarding right to remain in the UK (see Unaccompanied Children from Abroad Policy);
  6. University fees: eligible care leavers who wish to attend university will be paid a one-off payment of £2,000 to assist with university fees and costs. Support will also be provided by the PA in respect of pursing additional bursaries that the young person may be eligible for during their course of study.

10.2 Application for Finance

The PA will complete a CFA1 form for the young person. The form will need to be signed by the PA, the Leaving Care Team Manager, and the Service Leader. All finance authorised for Leaving Care young people will be funded out of the Section 24 budget, and the appropriate budget code will need to be provided (see below). Also, if the PA intends the monies to be paid directly into a bank account, a BACS form may need to be completed - these can be obtained from admin or from the Finance Team.

10.3 Budget Codes

When filling in CFA1 forms, the worker will needs to determine which category the financial assistance falls in, and write the appropriate budget code on the form, although applications for Leaving Care Grants do not need a code. All codes begin with DCC521001 and end with the listed digits:

Category Code
Weekly Allowance EG13
Staying Put EG17
Birthday Allowance EG18
Holiday Allowance EG19
Miscellaneous Payments EG20
Education/Training Costs EG22
Health Expenses EG23
Accommodation Costs EG25

10.4 State Benefits

Eligible and relevant young people are not entitled to state benefits unless they fall into one of the following categories:

  • They are a parent and can claim for Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (but not Housing benefit);
  • They are disabled and can claim Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (but not Housing benefit);
  • They are sick (with a doctor's note) and can claim Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, and Incapacity Benefit (but not Housing benefit).

All other young people, whether former relevant or qualifying, can claim all benefits they are entitled to, including Housing Benefit. The one exception to this is if they are in full-time education, in which case they would still be eligible for financial support from Leaving Care in lieu of benefits.

Our point of contact for Housing Benefits and Council Tax claims is Judith Marsden, who will personally oversee all the applications for young people under Leaving Care. Therefore, it is important that when young people are applying for Housing Benefit or help with Council Tax, the PA ensures that "Leaving Care, Attn: Judith Marsden" is written at the top of the claim form. It is also best if the young person signs a consent form to allow the Housing Benefits Team to send copies of correspondence to the PA, as well as share information over the phone. This is useful because the PA can then assist in gathering any information that the young person may have missed when sending in their form and thus speed up the process. When filling in the consent form, the name, telephone and email address of the PA should be listed at the bottom of the form.

If the young person moves, it is imperative that s/he fills in a Change of Circumstances form to notify the Housing Benefits Office of the new address. These forms, and the consent forms, are kept by admin.


11. Leaving Care Team Social Worker Role (Pathway Plan Reviewer)

A social worker has been appointed to review all Pathway Plans for all relevant and former relevant care leavers. The PA is responsible for arranging the review which must take place at least every six months. Young people can invite who they wish to attend as it is their review. The PA is to ensure the young person receives a copy of the review minutes.


12. Care Leavers becoming Parents

When a young person informs their PA that they are going to be a parent, the PA will then inform the social worker in the Leaving care Team. The social worker will then contact Children’s Social Care and discuss the case to decide whether the unborn should be referred in for a pre-birth assessment.

The Leaving Care Social Worker will also attend the Teen Parent Forum to ensure all care leavers who become parents are offered support.


13. Unaccompanied Children from Abroad

Unaccompanied children from abroad who are looked after by local authorities are also subject to the provisions of the Children Act 1989 and/or the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. They are entitled to the same after care service as any other relevant or former relevant young person. However, application of these provisions must be undertaken with regard to their immigration status.

The legislation around unaccompanied asylum seeking young people is complex and subject to frequent legislative challenge and appeal. Caution should be taken to ensure that any decision made with regard to a young person from oversees is made with reference to both the UAS policy and in any unusual circumstance, the Borough's legal adviser.

Possible outcomes of asylum claim:

  1. A young person who has been granted Refugee status i.e. granted asylum or, more rarely, Humanitarian Protection will have leave to remain for five years;
  2. A young person who has been refused asylum but granted Discretionary Leave needs to apply by 17 1/2 years for an extension of leave to remain;
  3. Refused asylum with no grant of leave. Further applications / appeals can be made before 18th birthday, and these circumstances leave is extended whilst those representations are considered by UK Visas and Immigration. When all appeal rights have been exhausted (ARE) the person becomes no recourse to public funds (NRPF), and must return to country of origin;
  4. Pathway Planning needs to cover all areas as for indigenous young people, as well as addressing additional needs arising from their specific immigration issues, which may require setting short term achievable goals whilst the outcome of their asylum claim is determined;
  5. Pathway Plans should always consider the implications for the young person of being refused leave to remain and the risks associated with the young person 'disappearing' to avoid return. Liaison with the Visas and Immigration may be necessary to manage these risks;
  6. If a young person is required to leave the UK the after care worker will continue to support them through this process.

Access to Public Funds, Welfare Benefits and Other Public Funds

The immigration status of a former LAC UASC / care leavers will impact on their entitlement to financial support, and Pathway Plans should address the fact that immigration status may limit education, training and employment opportunities.

Those care leavers with Refugee Status and Humanitarian Protection are entitled to claim for/access all benefits to which indigenous care leavers are entitled including housing benefits. They are entitled to apply for/be accepted for a university place together with the Higher Education Bursary.

Those who have submitted an ‘in time ‘ application for an extension to the Discretional Leave Remain are entitled to claim for / access all benefits to which indigenous care leaves are entitled, whilst the UK Visas and Immigration considers the application. They cannot apply for higher education.

Those whose application to extend leave are refused or appeals against refusal are dismissed, will become ineligible for further support and assistance because of the effect of Schedule 3 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Because these young people are all Appeal Rights Exhausted, they become no Recourse to Public Funds, and ineligible for state benefits or to Higher Education Bursary.


14. Access to Records

Over the course of their lifetime, people who have spent all or part of their childhood and adolescence in local authority care may want to access information about this period in their lives. There can be a range of reasons why people who have left care want to do this, including curiosity about why they came into care; what happened and when; a need to make sense of difficult memories and life events; to clarify disparate explanations; a desire to trace family members; seeking medical information in reference to hereditary illness/disease and also to obtain photos/certificates. For information on access to records by care leavers, see Access to Records Procedure, Applications by Care Leavers.


15. Complaints and Representations

BwD complaints procedure will apply to all care leavers.

Click here for Standards Complaint Form.


Appendix A: Legal Terms and Statutory Responsibilities Flowchart

Click here for Appendix A: Legal Terms and Statutory Responsibilities Flowchart.

Notes

  1. Young people who have planned short-term placements (none longer than four weeks) and return to their parents will not fall under this legislation. Relevant or former relevant young people who have returned home for a period of 6 months will be qualifying;
  2. Under the Act, local authorities have a number of duties in relation to care leavers aged 18-21 who have been eligible, relevant or both. These duties continue beyond 21 if the young person is on an approved programme of training. This support will continue until the end of the programme;
  3. Young people, who on reaching 16 are detained in a remand centre, YOI or elsewhere or are in hospital, but immediately prior to this had been Looked After for 13 weeks since age 14 will be relevant;
  4. If the young person has been in a stable placement for 12 months, contact is required once every 12 weeks. If there has been a recent change in placement, there must be a home visit in the first week following the move. If the young person is subject to a Child Protection Plan, then contact should be made every 2 weeks;
  5. Young people who are eligible or relevant may not claim benefits unless: they are pregnant/parents disabled or sick. In these situations they may claim Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and any other benefits related to their particular status, but NOT Housing Benefit. Young people who are 19 or older and in full-time education may not claim benefits.


Appendix B: What to Include in File Chronologies

All Leaving Care cases must have a chronology that needs to be updated regularly with significant events in the young person's life. While the young person is Looked After, it is the social worker's responsibility to maintain this chronology; however when the young person ceases to be Looked After the chronology should be passed over to the PA. The chronology will contain all significant events in the young person's life and may include the following items, but is not limited to them and some of the following items may not apply to Leaving Care cases:
  • Start and end dates of social work involvement:
    • Outcomes and decisions made;
    • Contacts for Sec 17 monies;
    • Conditions or contingencies.
  • Changes of social worker and social work absences;
  • Child Protection Plans and cessations:
    • Outcomes/recommendations;
    • Contingency plans;
    • Occasions child seen/seen alone;
    • Child's views;
    • Relevance/impact of parental circumstances (alcohol misuse, domestic violence, etc).
  • Looked After information:
    • Start and end date of Looked After status;
    • Changes in placements;
    • Changes in legal status;
    • Dates of absconding or missing from care.
  • Changes of name;
  • Change in birth family household;
  • Change in extended family support networks;
  • Change in birth family address;
  • Immigration Status changes (incl. funding status);
  • Health related information:
    • Accidents/incidents requiring hospital treatment;
    • Serious illness;
    • Diagnosis of specific conditions.
  • Education related information:
    • Change in school/college;
    • Fixed term and permanent exclusions;
    • Absence of over 25 days;
    • Education, Health and Care Plan;
    • Key stage tests results;
    • GNVQ, GCSE, A Level and further/higher education results.
  • Start and end dates of Employment:
  • Offences committed by the young person and other legal orders (e.g. Anti Social Behaviour Injunctions);
  • Date of completion of Transition Plan, Permanence Plan, Pathway Plan;
  • Dates of manage audits of file;
  • Date and detail of referrals or provision of specialist service;
  • Dates of case summary reports;
  • Domestic violence notifications.

End