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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 make that big step to 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?

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.

Your Personal Adviser can tell you 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)

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 says you can have support from your Personal Adviser (PA) up to the age of 25

Your PA can help you prepare to live independently, offer advice and support after you leave care.  They will be involved in discussions about your needs and your Pathway Plan.

What is your Pathway Plan?

This Plan is written by the Local Authority in consultation with you and important people in your life. It sets out your needs, views, 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.

Extra Support?

You might need extra support which your PA will discuss with you, if 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

Halton Borough Council

PAs and also the Children in Care & Care Leavers Team

Tel: 0151 511 8612

Director of Children’s Services
Milorad Vasic
Tel: 0151 511 6004
Email Milorad.Vasic@halton.gov.uk
Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families
Councillor Tom McInerney
Tel: 0151 424 4491
Email Tom.Mcinerney@halton.gov.uk

Health – Designated LAC Nurse

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Anne Birrell

Tel: 01928 593054

Email: a.birrel@nhs.net

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

Education, Employment or Training Support

Halton Virtual School

Other Support – Services

Young Addaction

Tel: 01928240406

Specialist drug and alcohol support 

Halton Integrated Recovery Service

Tel: 0151 422 1400

 

Sexual Health & Relationship Advice

Get It On Halton and St Helens

Tel: 0845 155 0156

Clinic opening times and venues

Parenting Support Groups

Brookvale Children Centre

Tel: 01928 797160

Email brookvaleccreception@halton.gov.uk

Windmill Hill Children Centre

Tel: 01928 717132

Email windmillhillccreception@halton.gov.uk

Halton Lodge Children Centre

Tel: 01928 573 107

Email haltonlodgeccreception@halton.gov.uk

Halton Brook Children Centre

Tel: 01928 573265

Email Haltonbrookccreception@halton.gov.uk

Ditton Children Centre

Tel : 0151 420 5482

Email Dittonccreception@halton.gov.uk

Kingsway Children Centre

Tel: 0151 511 6222

Email kingswayccreception@halton.gov.uk

Upton Children Centre

Tel: 0151 257 2450

Email uptonchildrencentre@halton.gov.uk

Warrington Road Children Centre

Tel: 0151 424 4686

Email Warrington.roadreception@halton.gov.uk

Booklet

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
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

Leaving Care before 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

Emergencies and Non-Emergencies - NHS 111, 999 or 101

In a medical emergency (e.g. self-harm or suicide attempt) always ring 999 or go to a hospital Accident & Emergency

For non-medical emergencies, contact the NHS on 111 for advice about your health

To contact the local Police in a non-emergency you can ring 101

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.

Want to find a GP, Dentist, local Chemist?
Information about Health

Health is more than being healthy, eating healthy or doing regular exercise.

It’s your physical, mental and sexual health, including problems with alcohol or drug/substance misuse.

The Health section has lots of information, support and advice.

Mental Health

Dedicated section with lots of information, advice and support for your mental health

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

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

LGBT

GLOW – Youth Group for LGBTQ aged 13-19 years and  GLOW FB page

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

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 Children Social Care will give you a £2000 bursary, paid in instalments.  We 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 you is always being updated, we will give you the most current advice of what you are entitled to Entitlements and Rights 

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

National Careers Service

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

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

Finances

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
Help we can provide

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