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Is it for me?

What does the Local Offer mean for me?

To be able to get the support and services available in the Offer, you must have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) since you reached 14, including some time after your 16th birthday. If you were looked after on or after your 16th birthday but for less than 13 weeks you may still qualify for some support.

 

If you’re not sure whether the Offer applies to you, ask your social worker or personal adviser. 

 

If you don’t have a social worker or personal adviser, get in touch with the Leaving Care Team and they will be able to let you know whether the Offer applies to you.  

 

If you’ve had a personal adviser in the past and would like some support from the Leaving Care Team again, please get back in touch. 

 

You can contact Nottinghamshire’s Leaving Care Team by ‘phone or email:

Bassetlaw, Newark Mansfield: 01158041236 or LeavingCareDuty@nottscc.gov.uk

Ashfield, Broxtowe, Gedling, Rushcliffe:  01158546318 or LeavingCare.South@nottscc.gov.uk[JM1] 

 

Personal adviser support is centred on your individual needs and aspirations which will continue until you are 25 years old, but you may decide you no longer need support before then.

 

If you have one, your social worker or personal adviser will talk with you about the information in the Offer.

 

If there is anything in this guide that you don’t understand or you want to learn more about, speak to your social worker or personal adviser, or get in touch with the Leaving Care Team by email or ‘phone via the contact detail provided above or on page 34.

 

If you identify as a former unaccompanied asylum seeking child or are awaiting leave status from the Home Office, there may be some elements of this Offer that you are not entitled to.  Please discuss this with your personal adviser.a

Your rights checklist

By law you are entitled to the following;

Involvement in decisions for your life.

  • A Personal Advisor up to 25 years of age.
  • A Pathway Plan detailing the journey to your future.
  • To request access to any information we may hold about you.
  • Be listened to and supported in where you decide to live.
  • To obtain your consent if we wish to share your information with other parties.

Our vision and ambition for you

We are Nottinghamshire’s Looked after Children (LAC) and Care Leavers Strategic Partnership (the partnership).  Nottinghamshire County Council, and now the 7 district councils of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe, are your statutory corporate parents. 

This means we must provide you with certain support and services by law.  However, we provide these things and more because we know it is the right thing to do to help you get on in life. Our other partners who provide services and support for you include housing providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and the police who also take on this role because they know it is the right thing to do. 

We all want you to have every opportunity and the support you need to be the best you can possibly be.

We will give you strong roots of stability, love, encouragement, positive relationships and healing from past harm.  We will give you wings of resilience, ambition, aspirational goals and practical and emotional support into successful adulthood.

Our ambitions for you as corporate parents mean that you will:

  • be safe and feel safe
  • experience good physical, emotional and mental health & wellbeing
  • fulfil your potential
  • make a positive contribution to your community
  • successfully move to adulthood
  • achieve employment and economic independence

Nottinghamshire County Council supports the national Care Leavers’ Charter which means we promise to:

  • respect and honour your identity
  • believe in you
  • listen to you
  • inform you
  • support you
  • find you a home
  • be a lifelong champion

 

The full charter can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/264694/Care_leavers__charter.pdf

Corporate Parenting Principles

All departments within a local authority are required to recognise their role as corporate parents which covers the following principles :-

  • to act in the best interests, and promote the physical and mental health and well-being, of those children and young people;
  • to encourage those children and young people to express their views, wishes and feelings;
  • to take into account the views, wishes and feelings of those children and young people to help those children and young people gain access to, and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and relevant partners;
  • to promote high aspirations, and seek to secure then best outcomes, for those children and young people;
  • tor those children and young people to be safe

 and is summarised in the following quotation       

“It asks local and central government to up their game as corporate parents, using the level of support that we expect a reasonable parent to provide for their child as a benchmark for how they should approach their role”.

Personal advisers

It is your right by law to have a personal adviser (PA) and Nottinghamshire County Council will provide you with one when you are 18 until you are aged 21. Your personal adviser takes over from your social worker when you are 18.  You also have the right to support and advice from a personal adviser up to your 25th birthday if you need it.

 

Personal advisers help you prepare for living independently and to support you as you prepare to leave care and after you leave care, depending on your circumstances. They will also help you overcome any difficulties you face.  Personal advisers are responsible for helping you to create your own Pathway Plan, keeping it relevant to your circumstances and most importantly supporting you to achieve the goals you set out.

 

The amount of support that you receive from your personal adviser will depend on you and your circumstances.

 

Your Leaving Care Team will consider with you what extra support you may need. You might need extra support because:

  • you are homeless
  • you have special educational needs or a disability
  • you are not in employment, education or training
  • you are a former unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) and your immigration status is unclear
  • you are in or leaving custody or you have had contact with the criminal justice system;
  • you are a young parent
  • you are going through a difficult time in your personal life.

 

The Leaving Care Team will try to make contact with you by letter once a year, so if you do hear from us in this way and would like some help, please do get in touch.  See page 3 above for the Leaving Care Team contact details.

Your Pathway Plan

You will create your own Pathway Plan[JM1] , with support from your social worker, when you are about 16.  It sets out what you want to achieve when you leave care. Your social worker will work with you to set out your needs, views and future goals, and identify exactly what support you will receive from us. It will also set out who will help you in this journey. 

 

You will look at your Pathway Plan again every six months, with the help of your social worker until you are 18.  This is to make sure that it still meets your needs.  When you leave care at 18, you and your personal adviser will have another good look at your Pathway Plan to check it still makes sense for what you want to achieve once you have left care.  You will review your Plan every 6 months with your personal adviser. 

Your Pathway Plan covers things like your:

  • Goals and aspirations around education, training and/or getting a job
  • Where you want to live and in what type of accommodation
  • Financial support you need to cover your accommodation and bills – this includes support to help you manage your money
  • Any physical, mental and emotional health and well-being needs you have how you will be helped to with them
  • any contact you may have with your foster carers, parents, wider family and friends, and how they and other people you know might be able to help you to live more independently 

You and your PA will review your Pathway Plan every 6 months and this will happen until at least you are 21, sometime until you are 25 depending on your circumstances.

Your expenses (travel and refreshments) in attending your review will be paid for by Nottinghamshire County Council.  There will be some circumstances where you will always need to update your Pathway Plan before the regular 6 months.  For example, moving into some types of accommodation.

Your right to be heard

An Independent Advocate can inform you about your rights and help you to be heard in meetings. They are separate from Children’s Services and in Nottinghamshire are provided by a charity called the Children’s Society.

If you would like an Independent Advocate call Freephone 0808 901 9488 or email advocay@childrenssociety.org.uk or ask your personal adviser to help you get one.

If you have a disability or special educational needs

SEND Local Offer

If you have special educational needs and/or disabilities there is a ‘Local Offer’ that describes the help you can expect in your local area – we will make sure that this is explained and you are helped to access this support.

Further information is available on the Nottinghamshire SEND Local Offer section on the Notts Help Yourself website

If you are an unaccompanied asylum seeker

We will make sure that you have the support you need and that this is recorded in your Pathway Plan.

What happens next?

We will be increasing and improving on the services and support we have told you about in this offer to make sure we are doing all we can to help be the best you can be.

We will continue to work with care leavers across the county to make this offer even better, so you have the best opportunities to achieve your potential. 

To keep up to date with what the new offers are, keep an eye out on the Care Leaver Local Offer tile on Notts Help Yourself (www.nottshelpyourself.org.uk) as we will post them all on there as they become available.  We will launch a Local Offer app so you will find the entire offer on there as well as update - wherever you are, even when you are without a signal or out of data.

We are thinking big with our offer – working with councils across Nottingham, Derby, Derbyshire, the East Midlands and the rest of the country to make sure you and other care leavers can expect the same services and support wherever you live, work or visit.

If you would like to get involved in helping to make this offer bigger and better for all care leavers, we’d love to have you on board.  Let your personal adviser know or get in touch with Emma Betteridge on 01623 626972 or emma.betteridge@nottscc.gov.uk

The Care Leaver Covenant

Every council area must create an offer of what’s its providing to help care leavers.  Alongside this, there is the national Care Leaver Covenant where businesses, charities and other government organisations can pledge their services, support and opportunities to help you move on from care and towards a successful and independent life of your own.  These include apprenticeships, work experience and free or discounted goods and services.  You can find out more here www.gov.uk/government/collections/care-leaver-covenant--2  and here https://mycovenant.org.uk/

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