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Care Leavers Local Offer

Consultation – DRAFT Care Leavers Local Offer

We will be consulting Care Leavers to seek your views on this, we want this information to meet your needs, so tell us what you think?  

You can contact Sarah Jones on  0151 511 6091 or by email sarah.jones@halton.gov.uk

With your help we can make changes and add new information

Charter for Care Leavers

The Charter for Care Leavers was redesigned by Care Leavers in 2015.  The Charter is a number of promises that Halton Borough Council have made to make sure that all children and young people receive all the help and support they need when leaving care and beyond.

Charter for Care Leavers

 

Children in Care & Care Leaver Services
Pathway Plan & Personal Advisor (PA)
Your Pathway Plan is a document that looks at your ambitions and hopes for your future, looking at where you want to live, your education, training and employment.  Your Social Worker will develop this with you around the age of 16 years.  It is important that you are involved in writing your plan and that your views and wishes are listened to before any decisions are made about your future.  In the pathway plan, there should be clear information about your health, education training and employment, contact with family and friends and managing money and who is going to help you to achieve the things you want.  The plan will be updated every six months or more frequently if required.

Personal Advisor

As you start the leaving care process, you will be allocated a Personal Advisor (PA).  This person will take over from your social worker when you leave care.

 

Who can help?
Useful Websites

Advocacy Support

An advocate is someone who can help you solve any problems you may have and can speak to people on your behalf.

They can:

  • Help you if you’re not being listened to
  • Help if you need some advice
  • Help if you feel you are not being treated fairly
  • Help you stay where you want to
  • Can talk to your social worker or personal adviser for you
  • Help you if you are getting bullied
  • Can come and see you and talk about your life
  • Help to change things
  • You can tell them anything you want
  • Help you when your sad

Advocates work for NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service).

If you want an Advocate to help you, ask your social worker or personal adviser and they can arrange one for you.

Access to Records-Files

The law says that care leavers have a right to see information that is written about them. This includes social services files

As a Care Leaver you can request access to your files by contacting the local authority that placed you in care

You can talk to your social worker or PA about how to do this

In Halton you will need to complete a Subject Access Records Application Form

More information is available on the Halton Borough Council website

Health & Wellbeing

Want to find a GP, Dentist, local Chemist?

Search for a service through Halton Healthwatch 

Health
Health Information, Services and Advice

Most people think of health as just keeping healthy for example eating healthy or even regular exercise but that is not always the case it also refers to someone’s mental health, sexual health, and this can also refer to people who may in the future have a problem with alcohol or substance misuse. If your feel as you’re not completely healthy there is lots of support on offer that can help you with this you can find useful websites for this on the back of this guide.

Don’t forget you can get free prescriptions, glasses and dental treatment until the age of 18.

You can contact the NHS on 111 with any query about your health.  In an emergency always call 999 and non-emergencies on 101.

Using the Internet Safely, Staying Safe, Sexual Exploitation
Halton IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)
Halton IAPT Team can help you manage and recover from mild to moderate anxiety and depression, understand and change currently unhelpful actions and patterns of thinking and avoid long-term mental health problems

We provide psychological treatments, sometimes called talking treatments, to help people who are stressed, be that feeling low in mood (depressed) or very nervous (anxiety)

  • Online Referral – Halton IAPT is a non-urgent service – if you feel you are in urgent crisis or are worried that you might seriously harm yourself in the near future, please contact your GP or refer yourself to the Mental Health Assessment Team
  • Contact Details: Tel – 0151 292 6954
Emergency Crisis Situations, Halton Assessment/Home Treatment & Recovery Teams

Emergency Crisis Situations

Medical emergencies (e.g. self-harm or suicide attempt) call 999 or go to a hospital Accident & Emergency

For non-medical emergencies, contact Halton Assessment/Home Treatment Team first to see if we can deal with the emergency


Halton Assessment/Home Treatment Team – Manager is Matthew Oultram

  • Assessment Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and see all new referrals for people not already being supported by mental health services based in a hospital or clinic rather than in the community.
    • The team completes a telephone triage and, if appropriate, face to face assessments to signpost to the appropriate service
    • We aim to assess, plan and care for the person within 12 weeks, if we offer intervention in our service (such as Medic input, brief interventions, extended assessments, etc. this can go up to 16 weeks)
    • We cover all of Halton for emergencies from 8pm to 8am
    • Referrals for Assessment Team will be accepted primarily from GPs, however if the service user was in a crisis/emergency then self-referrals can be made, we will also accept referrals from any professional but again we would primarily ask that they start at the beginning of the treatment pathway with their GP first
    • Contact Details: Assessment Team – 0151 422 6804
  • Home Treatment Service is available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
    • The team is considered an alternative to hospital admission and will only take cases requiring intensive support, have significantly high risks and need a lot of care to ensure they remain out of hospital (i.e. potentially visiting 1-4 times every day).
    • From 8pm emergency cases will be dealt with by the Assessment Team night practitioner as mentioned above
    • Referrals can only come from a hospital or clinic mental health services (this includes Assessment Team), they will not take referrals from GP’s or self-referrals (unless under a hospital or clinic mental health service and it is out of hours)
    • Contact Details: Home Treatment Team – 01928 753981

Halton Recovery Team – Managed by Martyn Veevers

  • The Recovery Team is available from 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday
    • The team will take cases needing care co-ordination and longer-term support, those with a diagnosis of a severe and enduring mental illness (i.e. Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Severe/Recurrent Depression, etc.)
    • We hold a caseload of people under shared-care service for people who are prescribed certain medications that the GP cannot prescribe alone and therefore require a Psychiatrist review every 6-12 months but do not require any other support from mental health services
    • We will also take referrals for people who require more intensive psychological therapy, (classed as Step 4 therapy), these people usually have complex symptoms and higher risks
    • People who have less complex symptoms and considered as high risk that require psychological therapy will go to Halton IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) for Step 2 and Step 3 therapy e.g. depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Referrals can only be made by other a hospital or clinic mental health service – GPs, professionals or Self-referrals need to go through the Assessment Team first
    • Contact Details: Recovery Team – 01928 753968

Relationships

Making Friends and Developing Relationships

 

Moving from foster or residential care into independent living is a big change for care leavers

 You might feel excited and ready to move, have concerns about how you’ll support yourself,  feel lonely or be worried about managing a household for the first time

 You might want to reconnect with family members

You might want to socialise and interact with other care leavers due to a shared understanding of one another and shared experiences. Equally, you might wish to avoid any further association with the care system and will not want to be defined as a care leaver.

During this time, accessing social opportunities, such as sports, groups or volunteering  to meet new people and make friends might help – your Personal Advisor can help you with these things

Have Your Say

We want to make sure you achieve the best when you leave care and it is important we listen to what you have to say about the services you receive from us. 

There are many ways you can get involved, you can join the Children in Care Council or care leavers group

You can contact tell your social worker or PA

Or you can complete a compliment and complaints form 

Relationship Information

Employment

Careers Information, Advice & Guidance

Halton’s Mersey Interactive

One place for all the publicly available links to career information and resources includes Barclays Lifeskills, Apprenticeship Vacancies, subject related career information and is being further developed to include local labour market information and local employer profiles.

u-explore

Discounted rate to Halton schools, colleges and education providers via 14-19Team@halton.gov.uk

Free for young people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, training or employment – contact a local Career Connect Connexions Adviser or email 14-19Team@halton.gov.uk for the access registration code to view resources e.g. job profiles, employer video tours, interviews with employers and lots more to help you decide on your career

Lifekit (Halton Housing Trust Toolkit)

LifeKit is your online toolkit to managing your finances, home, job prospects and more

Independent, professional and high quality careers and skills advice, available from age 13+ online or over the telephone.  Adults have additional access to community-based face-to-face advice.

Post 16 Directory

This directory is to support professionals working with young people to move on to Education, Employment or Training

Finding a job

Provides lots of information to help find a job e.g. Becoming an Ap prentice, Help with moving from Benefits to Work

Moving from Benefits to Work

Provides help and advice on moving from benefits to work, work experience/volunteering, starting your own business and support available when you start working, including the

Benefits Calculator

Education & Training

Halton's Virtual School

Virtual School information

The Virtual School will help with all aspects of education when you are a Care Leaver. 

Incentives & support available

Whether you are thinking about continuing in education, this could be college, university or even apprenticeship training, you need to think about what is best for you.  But to do this you may need extra support for transport, so the local authority can support you with this.  They may offer incentive money, which can cover transport costs and any supplies needed for your chosen path.  Some colleges may also offer bursaries to care leavers, it may be worth enquiring at your college.  If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship, there are opportunities already set in place for young people 16+.

Thinking of going to university?

If you want to go to university, we will try and arrange visits and help with advice and guidance about the support that each University and the Government will provide for you. Halton Childrens social care will give you a £2000 bursary (correct at time, January 2016), paid in instalments.  In additional Halton will cover the cost of your student accommodation and can also provide financial support for resources, on an individual basis. The law around what Social Care has to provide is always being updated, we will give you the most current advice of what you are entitled to.  You can also find out further information http://www.coramvoice.org.uk/young-peoples-zone/are-you-care-leaver

Participation in Society

Leisure Activities & Local Groups

Leisure section has lots of information to help you get involved

Local Transport Information

Transport section has lots of information to help you get around

Volunteering & Getting involved

Volunteer Centre Halton – Dedicated local centre for help finding local opportunities


Halton Young Addaction are looking for motivated, enthusiastic and caring people over the age of 14 who are willing to spare some of their time to become volunteers and young leaders

  • Take a look at their Volunteer App.
  • Volunteer intakes are throughout the year – if you want to apply or need more information contact: 01928 240406
  • Lots of opportunities for young people to get involved in their local community, training, development opportunities and more
  • Information Brochure

 Inspire – Wellbeing Enterprises supports young people who are experiencing difficulties or going through a tough time. Inspire gets young people involved in things that interest and inspire them.

Mind Halton – interested in volunteering to support mental health – contact Mind Halton for more information

National Citizenship Service is aimed at 16/17 year olds and up to 24 if they have specific needs. The programme helps engage young people during school half terms and summer holidays

Local Community Centres , Libraries & Parks

Community Centres

Provide a wide range of activities and groups that you might wish to get involved in


Local Libraries, Parks & Leisure

For details of groups, activities, ways to keep active and leisure opportunities

Accommodation

Housing

The local authority is responsible for you until you’re 18 and are responsible if you have moved to a different area.  When moving into different accommodation your PA will make sure that it is somewhere safe for you to live but also fits in with your needs that will be found in your pathway plan.  Your PA will visit you to review your pathway plan.  You should get help with your housing until you are 21, either from the local authority or through the benefits system.  If you are in full time education, you can get help until you are 25. However this may not always be the case some young people decide to ‘stay put’ with their foster carer.

The local authority can give you a setting up home grant, to help you buy essentials for your new home, to find out more, speak to your PA, to find out how much you would get.

Housing Associations

For more information about renting social housing please see the property plus website.

Options to think about for where you are going to live?
 
  • Staying put – if you are settled in a foster placement, you can ask to stay living there until your 21st birthday, as long as the foster carer agrees. It means that you will no longer be in care, however, would be responsible for paying rent for your room to your foster carer to cover your living costs
  • Lead tenancy – own house/flat, you will have a tenancy agreement which is a contract between you and the landlord of the property, which gives you and your landlord certain rights. You will be responsible for paying the rent to your landlord and paying utility bills, such as gas, electric, water, TV license and food
  • Residential care – living in a house with other young people in care, there will be a team of professional staff that work shifts within the house and are there to support up
  • Supported independence – although you would be living on your own in a flat or house, you would be living with the support of adults and other young people
  • Universal housing – hostels
Hints & Tips
You will have to think about how you will pay your bills.  You will have to think about rent, council tax, gas and/or electricity, TV License, water and food.  You will need to look at how much each cost and look at what income you have.  Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to benefits to help you out with the cost.
How to get a TV Licence?

Easy Read Guides about getting a TV Licence

What else would be helpful?

Under development - following consultation with care leavers
Under development - following consultation with care leavers

Finances

Dealing with money issues?

When moving into your own place or even moving on as a young person starting to care for them money will be an issue but there are many ways to sort this problem out. When you first move into your own place you are entitled to a setting up home grant of £2000, this will help to get you the furniture and decorating equipment you require to help to make your house feel like a home. What can be purchased with your setting up allowance:

TV TV Stand Washing machine Fridge/freezer
Plates/dishes Chopping boards Laundry basket Tea, coffee, sugar pots
Measuring jug Iron and ironing board Bin Cooking utensils
Cooker Microwave Toaster Kettle
Table and chairs Toaster Pans Cups and glasses
Cutlery Tea towels Washing up bowl Sofa
Lamps Carpet Mirror Clock
Curtains Bed and mattress Bedding, pillows and duvet Bedroom furniture
Towels Shower curtain Bath mat Soap holder

You will also get your incentive money from social services if you are in full time education. There may be other times when this is granted as well. If full time education is not an option they will encourage you to get a job this may start by going on benefits such as Job Seekers allowance, housing benefit.  If you are a parent, there is support available to help you and your Personal Adviser would be able to help you to apply for the appropriate benefits.

When you are 18, you will be responsible for paying your own bills, how much you pay depends on whether you are in education, employment or looking for work.

 

Guide about opening up bank accounts and dealing with money

 

Easy Read Guides about opening up bank accounts and dealing with money