Young People's Zone
I AM UNDER 25 BUT MY CASE IS CLOSED. CAN I GET HELP?
Children’s Services used to stop supporting care leavers (former relevant children) when they turned 21 if they were not in education. This meant that you might have had your cases closed because you were not studying or seeking to return to education. However the good news is that the law has changed. From 1st April 2018 Children's Services should offer help to all Care Leavers up to the age of 25 even if they are not in education.
This means that Children’s Services should contact you to see if they can assist you. But you can also contact Children’s Services because they must:
- Do an assessment of your needs to decide what help you might need from them
- Give you a new Personal Advisor (PA)
- Complete a new Pathway Plan for you which details all the support and help you will be getting from them (this should include help with the cost of education).
What can I do?
Talk to People
If your case has been closed, you will no longer have your own Personal Advisor (PA). If you had a good relationship with your PA, you can always phone up and talk to them and see whether they can help. This doesn't mean that they will become your PA again but they might be able to give you some advice and get the ball rolling.
If you don’t want to speak to your old PA or they are no longer working for your Children’s Services, you can just ask to speak to the Duty Social Worker.
Whoever you speak to, they should arrange for you to meet with a member of the leaving care team to have an assessment before deciding what happens next.
After this initial meeting, a PA should be allocated and there should be a second meeting to re-do your Pathway Plan. Remember, it is important to get all agreements written down in your Pathway Plan as Children’s Services have to honour all agreements included in your Pathway Plan.
If you do not receive a positive response when you try to speak to your old PA or a Duty Social Worker, then you should ask to speak to the Manager of the Leaving Care Team. If they seem reluctant to help, you can remind them of what the law says using the information in this section and ask them to arrange for you to be assessed as soon as possible.
Get Some Help
If you still feel that no-one is listening, or you want to get some advice before contacting Children's Services you can contact Always Heard, which is our national advocacy advice service. You can do this free on 0808 800 5792 or firstname.lastname@example.org