Care Leavers Local Offer

About the Care Leavers Local Offer
Just because you are leaving care, or have already left care, we haven’t stopped caring about you.

This Care Leavers Local Offer is to help you as we know that it’s a big step when you move out of care and start living on your own or with friends, we want to make sure that you feel safe, supported, know who can help and where to go to for help and advice.

You’ll find lots of information in the sections below:

• Health & Wellbeing
• Relationships
• Employment
• Education & Training
• Participation in Society
• Accommodation
• Finances

Who can get support through the Care Leavers Local Offer?
To access the support available through the Care Leavers Local Offer, you must have been in care:

• For at least 13 weeks between the ages of 14 and 16 (including your 16th birthday);

• For 13 weeks after your 16th birthday;

• Because you were an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker who is in the process of seeking leave to remain.

If you’re not sure, you can talk to your Personal Adviser to check if you qualify for this support.  If you are a failed asylum seeker who is ‘Appeal Right Exhausted’ you will not be entitled to this support.

Your Personal Advisor (PA)
Following changes introduced through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, you will be able to ask to have support from your Personal Adviser (PA) up to the age of 25

Your PA is there to help you to prepare to live independently and to offer advice and support after you leave care. PA’s get involved in discussions about your needs and your Pathway Plan.

Your Pathway Plan is written by the Local Authority after consultation with you and important people in your life. It sets out your needs, views and future goals and exactly what support you will receive from us.  We will review your Pathway Plan with you regularly so that it is kept up-to-date.

Your PA will discuss with you any extra support you may need, because you:

  • Have Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability;
  • Are an unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) and your immigration status is unclear;
  • Are in or leaving custody, or you have had contact with the criminal justice system;
  • Are a young parent;
  • Are going through a difficult time in your personal life.
Key Contacts
PAs and Children in Care and Care Leavers Team

Tel: 0151 511 8612


Housing advice
  • Halton Supported Housing Network    Tel: 0151 422 6300
  • Citizens Advice Bureau                            Tel: 0344 477 2121
  • Halton Housing Trust                              Tel: 0151 510 5000  /  0303 333 0101
Designated doctors/nurses

Anne Birrell, LAC Health Nurse                                                                                                                                 Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Lister Road, Astmoor,  Runcorn, WA7 1TW                      Tel: 01928 593054                                                                                                                                          a.birrel@nhs.net           

Education, employment or training support
Local Authority leadership, Lead Member Director of Children’s Services
Milorad Vasic
Municipal Building, Kingsway,
Widnes, WA8 7QF
Tel:0151 511 6004
Executive Board Member for Children, Young People and Families
Councillor Tom McInerney
Tel: 0151 424 4491
Halton Virtual School
Other places you can go for help:
Princes Trust Tel: 0800 842 842
Rees – The Care Leavers Foundation Rees – The Care Leavers Foundation                                                                                                                                 County Court Buildings, 13 Church Road, Redditch, B97 4AB                                                     www.reesfoundation.org/contact/
The Care Leavers’ Foundation The Care Leavers’ Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1081410)                                                                              PO Box 202, Bala, LL23 7ZB                                                                                                                        http://www.thecareleaversfoundation.org/
Relevant universal services:
Health services e.g. sexual health clinics

Sexual Health and Relationship Services and Advice                                                                                https://getiton.org.uk/                                                                                                                                                                Tel: 0845 155 0156

Clinic opening times and venues https://getiton.org.uk/sexual-health-clinic-timetable/

Specialist drug and alcohol support 

Halton Integrated Recovery Service is split across two locations:

  • Aston Dane, Waterloo Road, Widnes, WA8 0QR
  • 1st Floor, 75 High Street, Runcorn, WA7 1AF (above Lloyds Bank)

Tel: 0151 422 1400                                                                                                https://www.changegrowlive.org/content/halton-integrated-recovery-service

Further or Higher Education information https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/individual-needs/ucas-undergraduate-support-care-leavers
Relevant youth clubs /groups/activities Young Addaction                                                                                                                                                           Grangeway Community and Youth Centre, Runcorn WA7 5HA                                                                                         Tel: 01928 240406                                                                                           https://www.addaction.org.uk/services/young-addaction-halton
Parenting support groups
Youth Justice Service

Tel: 0345 145 0055




The Care Leavers Local Offer Booklet provides you with an outline of the support that we have for you as a Care Leaver in Halton

Care Leavers Charter


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

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


Leaving Care before turning age 18 or 'Staying Put'

We will encourage you to stay in care until you are age 18.  Most young people live at home with their families at this age. If you choose to leave care before age 18, the law says we must provide you with suitable accommodation.

When moving into different accommodation your PA will make sure that it is somewhere safe for you to live and fits in with your needs that will be found in your Pathway Plan.

We can give you a setting up home grant, to help you buy essentials for your new home, your PA, will help you find out how much you can get.

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 age 25.

If you and your foster carers decide you want to remain with them, we can support you through a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement which can last until you are age 21.  Your PA can help you with this.

Setting up your own home
When you first move into your own place you are entitled to a setting up home grant of £2000, this will help to get stsarted with furniture and decorating.  Things you require to help to make your house feel like a home. The grant can be used for:
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
Housing Associations

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

Options to think about?
If you are aged over 18, your PA will help you to think about finding suitable accommodation, which might include:
  • 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 are 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 to care and support you.
  • Supported accommodation –  this might be if you’re not ready to have your own ‘lead tenancy’, you’d be living in a flat or house with other young people with the support of adults.

If you are a Halton Care Leaver and stay living in Halton you will be exempt from Council Tax until your 25th birthday.

Your PA will help you to claim Housing Benefit/Universal Credit and to get your National Insurance Number.

How to get a TV Licence?
Easy Read Guides about getting a TV Licence
Useful Websites

Health & Wellbeing

Want to find a GP, Dentist, local Chemist?
Search for a service through Halton Healthwatch
Information about Health
Most people think of health as just keeping healthy e.g. eating healthy or regular exercise but it’s more than that.

It’s about your physical, mental and sexual health.

It can also involve problems with alcohol or drug/ substance misuse.

See the Health section for lots of information, support and advice.

Prescriptions, Glasses or Dental Treatment up to age 18
Don’t forget you can get free prescriptions, glasses and dental treatment until the age of 18.
NHS 111, 999 or 101
You can contact the NHS on 111 for any query about your health.

In an emergency always call 999 and non-emergencies on 101.

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


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

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, need some advice or if you are being bullied
  • Feel you are not being treated fairly
  • To stay where you want to
  • Talk to your social worker or personal adviser for you
  • Can come and see you and talk about your life
  • When you are sad or need to change things
  • Tell them anything you want

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.

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

Sexual Health
Brook sexual health and wellbeing information for under 25s

Relationships Advice

Sex and sexual health



Sexual health services in Runcorn and Widnes

Using the Internet Safely, Staying Safe, Sexual Exploitation

Education, Training and Employment Support


The law says we must provide you assistance with expenses to support you education, training and move into employment.  Below shows what we will offer you:

Education, Training and Employment Support


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.


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.

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

Useful Information

Access to Records
The law says that as a Care Leaver you have a right to see information we keep about you including files and records when you were in care, this is called ‘Access to Records’ or ‘Subject Access Request’ .

If you want access you can talk to your social worker or PA who will arrange for this to happen as it will require a  Subject Access Records Application Form to be completed.

More information is available on the Halton Borough Council website

Children in Care & Care Leaver Services


Setting up your own home
When you first move into your own place you are entitled to a setting up home grant of £2000, this will help to get stsarted with furniture and decorating.  Things you require to help to make your house feel like a home. The grant can be used for:
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
How can we help?
We will try to help you financially, in a similar way to how parents support their own children for things like:
  • You will be exempt from paying Council Tax;
  • Tell you about money management training;
  • How to access your Junior ISA, if you have one (this is a fund of money set aside by the Government and the Council);
  • Support to set up a bank account, gain important identification documents e.g. Passport, provisional Driving Locence before your 18th birthday;
  • Support to get your National Insurance Number;
  • A financial gift on your birthday, christmas or other celebrations.
Benefits & Grants
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. These are some organisations that can help advice you:
Guide about opening up bank accounts and dealing with money
Easy Read Guides about opening up bank accounts and dealing with money