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The Leaving Care Service


Who can access support from the Leaving Care Service?

In order to understand the type of support that you will receive from the Leaving Care Service you will need to understand some key words which are used to describe the 4 categories of Care Leaver. These key words
and definitions are described below; if when you have read the key words you still need help in understanding them then you can discuss these with your Social Worker or Personal Advisor.

Key Words – Categories of Care Leavers

Eligible

You are an Eligible Care Leaver if...

• you are aged 16 or 17; and
• you are currently a young person in care, and
• you have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, which must include at least 1
day since your 16th birthday.

Relevant

You are a Relevant Care Leaver if....
• you are no longer cared for by the Local Authority but you have previously been an ‘Eligible’ care leaver
and,
• you are 16 or 17 years old.

Former Relevant

You are a Former Relevant Care Leaver if...
• you are aged between 18 and 21 and before reaching 18 you were or had been a Relevant Care Leaver or
• immediately before you stopped being cared for you were an Eligible Care Leaver.
• If at the age of 21 and up to reaching the age of 25 where you continue or return to be in full time
education or training then you can remain as a Former Relevant Care Leaver for the duration of the
agreed programme.

Qualifying

You are a Qualifying Care Leaver if...
• You are at least 16 but under 21, and
• You were a cared for young person prior to the making of a Special Guardianship Order which was in
force when you reached 18, or
• If at any time after you reached the age of 16 you were no longer looked after, or accommodated or,
• You were privately fostered and assessed to be in need.
• As a Qualifying Care Leaver you are able to access advice and assistance based on an updated needs
assessment completed by the Leaving Care Service.

Support up to 25

Following changes introduced through the Children & Social Work Act 2017, care leavers are now entitled to
support from a Personal Adviser up to the age of 25, whether continuing in education or training or not. From the age of 21 all Former Relevant care leavers will continue to receive support if in agreement and having been assessed as having unmet needs within their Pathway Plan. Where involvement has ended care leavers can request a continuation of support up to the age of 25. A Pathway Plan will be undertaken and support will continue in line with any unmet needs.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)
 
A UASC is defined as an individual who is under 18, who has arrived in the UK without a responsible adult,
is not being cared for by an adult who by law or custom has responsibility to do so, is separated from both
parents and has applied for asylum in the United Kingdom in his/her own right.
The local authority has a duty to assess such children under section 17, and then, almost always, to
accommodate them under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
Support will be provided to UASC to access legal representation in support of their initial asylum claim to
remain in the United Kingdom. Care Leaver status as detailed above applies to all UASC who achieve Eligible
Care Leaver status having been accommodated for 13 weeks from the age of 14 including 1 day since the age of 16.
Statutory guidance for local authorities can be found in ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child
victims of modern slavery’ - Department for Education, March 2017.
The Role of Social Workers
All Eligible Care Leavers will be allocated a Social Worker who will act as your lead worker and be responsible for the regular update of your Pathway Plan (see Pathway Planning). As an Eligible care leaver you will be jointly allocated to a Personal Advisor.
As an Eligible Care Leaver you will remain allocated to your Social Worker until you either leave care or reach 18 years of age. However you will remain allocated to your Personal Advisor whilst you continue to have a care leaver status, therefore this will be until you reach 21 years of age and possibly up to the age of 25 if you request a continued service and are assessed as having unmet needs.
If you are a young person supported by the Integrated Service for Children with Additional Needs (ISCAN)
you will continue to receive support from your current Social Worker until you transition to Adult Services. The Leaving Care Service will allocate you a Personal Advisor from the age of 16 who will work alongside your existing Social Worker and later on your Adults Service’s Worker to fully support your transition to adult life.

Support from a Personal Advisor

All Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers will be allocated a Personal Advisor from the age of
16. Your Personal Advisor will support you to develop the skills that will assist you to live independently at a
time when you are ready to do so. A key role of the Personal Advisor is to provide and coordinate the support, advice and guidance you will need in support of your transition to adult life.

Contacting your Social Worker or Personal Advisor

Your Social Worker or Personal advisor will be introduced to you by your existing Social Worker. Your Personal Advisor will provide you with their telephone and email contact details. Alternatively they can be found at:

Leaving Care Service
Number 31
Clarence Arcade
Stamford Street
Ashton-under Lyne
OL6 7PT

Tel: 0161 342 3168

The Leaving Care Service has a duty system to cover staff absence, if you are unable to contact your Social
Worker or Personal Advisor and the matter is urgent you can request to speak to the Duty Worker.
Alternatively, you can attend the Care Leavers Drop in Service available every weekday at Clarence Arcade
from 1.30pm until 4pm (3.30pm on Friday’s).
If the matter is really urgent you can also request to speak directly to the Practice Manager or Team Manager.
The Leaving Care Service is open during normal office hours. If you need to speak to someone urgently
outside of these hours you can contact the Tameside Out of Hours Service. Support out of hours is limited to emergencies only:

Out of Hours Tel: 0161 342 2222

Contact Information
Contact by Post

The Leaving Care Service
Clarence Arcade
Stamford Street
Ashton-under-Lyne
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 3168

 
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