Frequently Asked Questions
Who is entitled to the service?
If you were looked after by foster carers or lived in a children's home for 13 weeks immediately before you reached your 16th birthday then you maybe entitled to a service until you are 21. If you are not 16 yet and your plan states that you will continue to be looked accommodated after that age, then you can expect to receive a leaving care service.
If you are accommodated by the Health Authority or NHS trust or Education Authority, or in a residential care home, nursing home or mental nursing home for more than three months, then you may be entitled to a service until you reach the age of 21 provided you were 16 when you left care.
Even if you have never been looked after in a children's home or foster home you may qualify for a service if you are 'In need' and aged 16 or 17.
You could be 'In need' for a number of reasons, including: -
- Having a disability
- Needing accommodation
- Being separated from your parents
- Being at risk of significant harm
- Having significant family problems
If you feel you are in any of these categories then you access a service through: -
The Assessment & Family Support Unit at 56 Warrington Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne Tel: 0161 342 4150. You will need to telephone and ask to speak to the First Response Social Worker from the area team in which you live.
Will the service given stay the same?
As time goes by you will all need less help from our service as you get better at coping for yourselves.
To take account of this case the case plans are reviewed at regular intervals to reflect the young persons changing needs.
After a while a young person may no longer need an assigned worker so they will only get in touch with us when they need to. There is no strict timetable for this process as it depends on each persons needs.
What if I'm not ready to look after myself?
Moving from being looked after to looking after yourself is a process, which can take quite a long time for most people. We recognise that living in lodgings is only one of a number of options.
People over eighteen can access accommodation through Housing Options Centre in Ashton. People of seventeen or younger access lodgings through the accommodation officer, Services to young people, at West End Offices, Ashton.
The service maintains a register of lodgings, which we feel are particularly suitable for young people.
Do I have to accept the service?
Those young people who are on a care order or a supervision order need to keep seeing their social worker whilst the order remains in force.
All other young people who are entitled to a service have a choice as to whether they accept it or not. We would hope that you would continue to use the service that is available for as long as it is necessary.
Even if you decide that you want nothing more to do with us, you can still change your mind and ask for a service until you reach the age of 21.
Perhaps receiving a service from an independent leaving care advisor would suit you better.
What about financial support?
These payments are all discretionary. If you need financial help then ask your worker.
The basic principles that apply are: -
- The worker will help make sure that a young person claims any benefits to which they are entitled. This will include help with appeals if necessary.
- Lodgings are regarded as being part of the commercial marketplace and, as such, the social worker will work on behalf of the young person and the department to obtain a reasonable rent. This should not normally be above the level supported by housing benefit unless special individual circumstances apply.
- Support payments to young people are given to take into account our wish to encourage the take up of Youth Training and Further Education opportunities whilst discouraging long-term unemployment.
- Payments are made to reflect 'real world' situations and are set to avoid a sudden fall in the standard of living when a young person no longer receives financial support, usually at 18 years of age.
- Young people are entitled to their first colour TV licence paid from their Leaving Care grant
- Your Leaving Care grant will also pay the connection fee for an electricity supply and safety check on a gas cooker.
What about accommodation?
There are a number of accommodation options available to meet the needs of young people. We work closely with New Charter Housing Trust Group as well as with a number of private voluntary organisations, which are able to provide housing for young people.
New Charter Housing Trust Group
We operate a scheme with New Charter Housing which enables us to recommend that young people of seventeen or over be offered a tenancy in a flat or house.
We will do this if we are confident that the young person will be able to cope with the tenancy. Services for Children and Young People may act as guarantor for the rent until the young person is eighteen.
We work with a number of housing projects in the borough, which provide accommodation suitable for the needs of young people.
- Threshold Housing - Stamford Villa in Audenshaw. This is a large converted house which in now a number of single flats. Workers at the project provide support through the day and evening. The project is for males only
- Threshold Housing - Westbrook in Stalybridge. This is a large converted house, which is now a number of single flats. Workers at the project provide support through the day and evening. The project is for females only.
- WISH (Women In Supported Housing) in Hyde. This is a project, which consists of a number of flats sharing a building, with daytime and evening support. It is for females only
- English Churches - Enville Place in Ashton under Lyne. This is a large house converted into a number of bedsits. Workers at the project provide support throughout the day and evening. This project is for males only.
- NACRO - Hurst Young People Project (HYPP) comprising of seven self-contained bedsits which are single occupancy open to both males and females. Staff provide support throughout the day and evening.
- NACRO - Chapel Street in Hyde. Six single bedroomed emergency accommodation for 16 and 17 years olds. This accommodation is accessed through Housing Options in Ashton.
The above schemes are geared up to preparing young people to move on, wherever possible, to long term accommodation provided by the borough's Housing Department, or by Housing Associations which operate in the area. For this reason the tenancies are time limited and the nature of the support given is that which will help equip people to look after themselves and become self reliant
Tameside has a number of Housing Associations operating within its boundaries that operate schemes that enable young people to move on from care to get accommodation with them.
Is support available from any other agencies?
Tameside Children's Rights
National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)
Senior Advocate 07769 914094
Freephone 0808 8081001
Independent and confidential service to young people who are looked after by Tameside Children's Social Care and offer help and advice in all aspects of a young person's life.
What counselling services are available for young people?
Off the record is a counselling service for young people based at 45 Clarendon Place, Hyde, SK14 2ND 0161 355 3553. email@example.com
The Mind Centre, Old St, Ashton offers counselling, advice and information. 0161 330 9223.
Lesbian Link - Monday - Thursday: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
0161 236 6205.
You can get advice from the following organisations:
For young people who wish to continue their education in Islamic teachings, it is suggested that you contact your local Mosque.
- Markazi Mosque, Newton Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne
- Madrassa Arbia Taleem-U1-Quran and Mosque, Katherine Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne
- Jamia Mosque, 21 Jackson Street, Hyde
- Mossley Community Mosque, 81 Egmont Street, Mossley
For young people who wish to continue their instruction in the Hindu faith, please contact:
- The General Secretary, Indian Community Centre, 103 Union Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne.
How do I complain?
The department has a three-stage complaint system. If you want to make a complaint you can either speak to your social worker, speak direct to the complaints officer or follow the link to use the online complaints system
Room 3.10, Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton U Lyne, OL6 6DL
0161 342 5233
If you wish the customer services unit will give you help in making a complaint as well as giving you a copy of the full complaints procedure.
How do I make sure my health needs are met?
It is important that you are registered with a doctor. If you are not and you are unsure about how to go about this, then you can ask your social worker for help or obtain an up to date list of doctors in your area from the Tameside Primary Care Trust Tel: 0161 304 5300.
In addition there are a number of specialist clinics:
Tameside Young Person Clinics
No appointment needed, just turn up at:
Young Persons Centre, Duke St, Denton - Monday 3:30pm - 6:30pm
0161 320 8918
Crickets Lane Health Centre, Ashton - Tuesday 4:00pm - 5:00pm
0161 324 7830.
Triangle, West End, Ashton - Friday 4:00pm - 6:00pm