Our Leaving Care team provides young people with support and advice to help them to live independently in the community after leaving the care of the council.
Young people are supported through the transition into adulthood making sure that they have gained practical and self-care skills to achieve independence.
The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2001 aims to ensure young people do not leave care until they are ready and prepared to do so. Once they have left care, personal support should continue until the age of 21, or 24 if you are in higher education.
The Act states that young people should now:
- have a personal adviser
- have a Pathway Plan
- receive appropriate financial support based on their needs
If you are about to leave care we will:
- help you to keep in touch with the people who have cared for you in the past.
- help you to achieve your goals and encourage you to be fully involved in assessments, plans and reviews for your future
- provide you with relevant information that will help you to consider your options and choices for the future
- work with careers, education and training providers to help you gain employment and/or extra skills
- help you to maintain and build on existing support networks
- assist you with your finances housing matters
Am I eligible for support?
We will support you if you are:
Aged 16-17 and are currently in care and have been looked after for a period of at least 13 weeks (or periods adding up to 13 weeks) since your fourteenth birthday. This will not normally include respite care.
Aged 16-17 and have already left care, but have previously met the criteria for an 'eligible' young person.
- Former relevant
Aged 18-21 and were previously a 'relevant' or 'eligible' young person.
If you do not fit into these categories but have been looked after we can still offer you advice and support.
How does the process work
After the age of 15 ½ a referral will be made to us. Soon after, a personal advisor will begin work with you to help you prepare for leaving care. They tell you about the support we provide and the services that we offer.
We will undertake a Preparation for Independence assessment which will consider the following:
- Education, training and employment
- Family and social relationships
- Independent living skills and financial needs
- Health and development
Within 28 days of completing the assessment, your Leaving Care worker will complete a Pathway Plan. This plan will help you to map out a way forward and look at what support you can expect.
The plan is reviewed on a 6 monthly basis unless there is a need otherwise. If you choose to decline the service, you will be asked to send us written confirmation of your decision.
Leaving Care also undertakes a range of support work with and for you.
- Male sexual health groups
- Female sexual health groups
- Activity days each year
- Annual event for National Care Leavers
- Workshops that involve you in the development of our services
- Promoting Independence training for carers
Government guidance and legislation
Children (Leaving Care) (Wales) Regulations 2001
Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
Reconnecting to Care
Reconnecting to Care is a change to the Children's Act (1989), which means young people between 21-25 years old who were formally looked after by the local authority can access support from Leaving Care Services. This support is designed to help young people fulfil their education, training or work objectives.
A young person reconnecting to Caerphilly has the right to an assessment to decide whether support would be appropriate for them. If the assessment decides support is appropriate, the young person will be helped to meet their education, training or work objectives. The young person will also have a Pathway Plan developed and have access to a personal adviser.
Caerphilly Leaving Care Team has worked in partnership with Blaenau-Gwent County Borough Council's Leaving Care Team to develop the following policy: -
Reconnecting To Care - Policy and Guidance On Working With Care Leavers (PDF 166kb)
Caerphilly Leaving Care Team are currently contacting young people who they know about who have turned 21 in the last year, who may be eligible for support under the new legislation.
For further information on Reconnecting to Care, please contact Janine Edwards (02920) 849819.
For further information and advice about leaving care, contact the Leaving Care Team on 02920 849816 or email email@example.com.