To be able to get the support and services available in the Offer, you must have been in care for at least 13 weeks (or periods of time that add up 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, of if there is anything else in this guide that you don't understand, speak to 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
- If you are aged 22 to 24 you can contact the 21+ team on 0115 804 4154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
By law you are entitled to
- Be involved in decisions about your life
- Personal adviser support and advice until your 25th birthday
- A Pathway Plan detailing the journey to your future.
- Request access to any information we may hold about you
- Be listened to and supported in where you decide to live
- Know we won’t share your information with others without your consent
Nottinghamshire County Council and the seven district councils of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe, are members of Nottinghamshire’s Looked after Children (LAC) and Care Leavers Strategic Partnership (the Partnership) and are your legal ‘corporate parents’.
Being your corporate parents means Nottinghamshire County Council and the seven district councils in Nottinghamshire must provide you with certain support and services by law. However, we and other organisations in Nottinghamshire, provide these things and more because we know it is the right thing to do and we want to help you find your way.
We want to support you and offer every opportunity you need to be the best you can possibly be and to achieve your goals. To better meet all the needs of care leavers, we have worked with other partners (organisations) who provide services and support, including housing providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses and voluntary and community organisations.
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 and wellbeing
- fulfil your potential
- make a positive contribution to your community
- successfully move to adulthood
- achieve employment and economic independence
The Partnership 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
Corporate Parenting Principles
All departments within a local authority are required to recognise their role as corporate parents:
- to act in your best interests, and promote your physical and mental health and well-being
- to encourage you to express your views, wishes and feelings
- to take your views, wishes and feelings into account to help you gain access to, and make the best use of the services we and our partners provide to you
- to promote high aspirations to you, and seek to secure the best outcomes for you
- to keep you safe
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, when you hear from us in this way and would like some help, please do get in touch.
You can contact Nottinghamshire’s Leaving Care Team by ‘phone or email:
You will create your own Pathway Plan, 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 and how you will be helped 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 personal adviser will review your Pathway Plan every six months and this will happen until you are 21, sometimes until you are 25 depending on your circumstances.
We will pay for you to get to and from your review and cover and refreshments you need too. There will be some circumstances where you will need to update your Pathway Plan before the regular six months. For example, moving into some types of accommodation.
An Independent Advocate can tell you about your rights and help you to get your points across in meetings. Independent Advocates are separate from Children’s Services and are provided locally by the Children’s Society. If you would like an Independent Advocate call Freephone 0808 901 9488 or email email@example.com or ask your personal adviser to help you get one.
If Nottinghamshire County Council was not the local authority that looked after you when you were in care, please contact the local authority that was to find out what leaving care services and support you are entitled to under their offer.
If you don’t know how to contact them, get in touch with our Leaving Care Team and we will help you to do this.
We will make sure that you have the support you need and that this is recorded in your Pathway Plan.
Your care leaver champion in the prison, resettlement worker or probation worker will make contact with your personal adviser to make sure you get the support you need to successfully move forward and/or complete your Court Order(s).
We will support you whilst you are in custody in a number of ways.
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 you 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.
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've got any ideas how to improve the Offer for care leavers please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the Participation Team on 01623 626972 or YouthService.BusinessSupport@nottscc.gov.uk
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 at MyCovenant