Thinking about returning home can be very difficult. Even if it is possible, it might not happen quickly and sometimes it can never happen. It is important to be patient and to be realistic.
It is also important to remember you are not responsible for being in care. You are in care because of things that have happened in your family and it’s the adults that need to make changes before you can go home. If you can’t go home, it’s not your fault.
The first step is to speak to your social worker, tell them you want to live with your family. Try and find out as much information as you can about whether moving home is possible.
Questions you can ask
There are lots of questions you might want to ask:
- Why am I in care?
This will help you understand any decisions about whether you can return home or not.
- Am I on a care order or am I accommodated?
If a judge has decided that you need to be in care it can be much harder for you to return home.
- Are you willing to do an assessment on my family?
If your social worker is worried about how you would be looked after at home, they may not even be willing to do an assessment. It is important you know this so you don’t get your hopes up. If they are not willing to do an assessment, it is important they explain why.
What else can you do?
You can also discuss wanting to go home at your next LAC Review. In every LAC Review, your Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and social worker should talk about where you are living and the plans for the future. If you think you should go home, you have every right to say so. You can talk to your IRO about it in the LAC Review meeting or you can speak to your IRO in private before the meeting.
If you feel that no one is listening you can get help from an advocate.