Slough Children First’s Children Looked After and Leaving Care Team is here to support you as you learn to live more independently. We are based at:
Slough Children First
25 Windsor Road
Duty Telephone Number: 01753 476729.
If you need help after 5pm or on the weekends or bank holidays the number to call is: 01344 786543.
Working with our partners, the Leaving Care Team can help you:
- Make plans for the future
- Have somewhere safe and secure to live
- Keep yourself fit and healthy, and feel good about yourself
- Make sure that you have enough money to live on
- Stay in education
- Find the training course or career that you really want
- Staying in touch with people who are important to you
- Deal with difficulties and negotiate solutions to problems
- Find out about your rights
Personal advisor (PA)
When you reach 16, we will decide with you who is the best person to be your personal advisor (PA), giving you time to build a relationship as you prepare to leave care. Once you turn 18, you will no longer have a social worker, so your PA will become your main support worker until you reach 25.
Your PA will:
- Listen to your views and ideas about your life and help you use these to inform your Pathway Plan
- Work with you and your carers and others to put your Pathway Plan into practice
- Attend your looked after review meeting every six months for the last year you are in care
- Organise a Pathway Plan review every six months after you have left care
- Support you in looking after your health
- Encourage and support you to go as far as you can with your education
- Make sure you receive advice and guidance with jobs, careers and training
- Help you develop the skills and knowledge that you need to live independently
- Help you stay in touch with your family
- Support you to find somewhere suitable to live
Independent reviewing officer (IRO)
Up to the age of 18 you will have had an allocated IRO, a qualified social worker who is also an experienced manager and is responsible for ensuring that your views are heard, and that the plans your social work team make for your care move forwards and do not drift. They also check that everyone who works with you has completed all the tasks that have been agreed to keep you safe and well. We will review your Care Plan to ensure that we are meeting your needs for the next six months.
Your views on all aspects of your life are very important and your IRO will meet with you before each of your Child Looked After (CLA) Reviews to ensure that they understand your thoughts on feelings on what will be discussed. Your CLA Reviews look at the different aspects of your life and development including your health, education and/or training and employment, contact with your family and plans for your future. We would encourage you to be as fully involved in your CLA Reviews as you can including attending if you would like to, or event chairing the meeting if you are happy/comfortable with this. The IRO will write to you after the CLA Review to let you know what was discussed, and any decisions that were made.
Your IRO will also keep an eye on what is happening with you between your CLA Reviews, through a ‘mid-way monitoring’ where they will check that all decisions are being implemented as agreed at your Review. Your IRO might also contact you between Reviews to find out how you are, and you will have their telephone number should you want to contact them.
As part of the CLA Review process you can also give your feedback by completing a My Review, My Views survey.
If, for any reason, you are unsure who your IRO is, or are unable to contact them, you can call the Reviewing Service Manager on 01753 690738.
Your Pathway Plan will set out your plans for the future. This is your document and your views and aspirations must be at the centre of it!
As you approach 16 your social worker will work with you to complete a needs assessment report setting out your abilities, your achievements and your needs now and in the future. You will then work together to create your Pathway Plan.
The Pathway Plan will set out how you will be supported to achieve the things that you want for yourself in your life, and who is going to provide the help you need.
It will be important that your Pathway Plan accurately sets out what is important to you, and what you want to achieve in the future. In order to do this your social worker/personal advisor will also talk with your parents or carers and other important people in your life – and you should tell them who the important people are.
Your Pathway Plan is a ‘live’ document and you will continue to have reviews every 6 months to add to or revise the Plan as your aspirations develop and change.
Your social worker or personal advisor will continue to meet with you and review the Pathway Plan.
When you stay in care after you reach 16, you will continue to have looked after reviews chaired by an independent reviewing officer. The Pathway Plan will replace the Care Plan and this will be reviewed at your Statutory Looked After Review.
If there are parts of your Pathway Plan that you do not want shared at a review, you can agree with your social worker what doesn’t need to be discussed.
If you are one of the small number of 16 and 17 year olds who choose not to remain looked after then the social worker will continue to visit you regularly and will review the Pathway Plan with you every six months.
The Pathway Plan will need to grow and change as you approach adulthood and as your situation changes.
When you reach 18 you will no longer be looked after but your personal advisor will continue to meet with you and work on your Pathway Plan to ensure plans are put in place to support you even when you are a young adult.