West Berkshire Council

Young People Leaving Care

Advice for young people leaving care in West Berkshire

Moving away from home can be a testing time for any young person. We want to help all young people who have lived in care in West Berkshire to make a smooth and successful start to their adult lives. We put arrangements in place for all our care leavers, listening to what they want for their future and helping them each step of the way - practically, financially and emotionally - to become independent adults who are in control of their own lives.

West Berkshire is committed to the best interests of young people leaving care and has signed up to the doc icon Charter for Care Leavers [29kb] which consists of seven promises to support care leavers.

Who is a care leaver?

If you have been looked after by West Berkshire Council on, or after, your 16th birthday, you are entitled to support from us.

Planning for your future

When you turn 16 years of age (or around this age depending on your circumstances) you will transferred to the leaving care team. All the people who are currently involved in your care and education are invited to take part in a new assessment of your needs. A plan is agreed which sets out all the advice, assistance and support that you will need to take your first steps into adult life - this is called a 'Pathway Plan'.

What help will I get?

Based on your own hopes and expectations for the future, a Pathway Plan will include:

  • Your plans for going to college, university or training after school. This may include goals and actions that were previously recorded in your Personal Education Plan
  • Your plans for getting a job or for another purposeful activity to improve your chance of getting work in the future
  • What money you will have and how you will manage it
  • Who will be around to help, advise and support you
  • Where you will be living in the future
  • How you will keep up activities you enjoy
  • What you need to keep healthy and look after yourself
  • Any help you may need because of your religion or racial origin

Your Pathway Plan will be reviewed every six months.

Who will help me?

Every care leaver has a Personal Adviser who may be a social or leaving care worker. Your Personal Adviser will help assess, plan and review all the services that are set out in your Pathway Plan. Your Adviser will also contact people who work in other agencies to make sure you are linked up to all the help you need to support you in this new stage of your life.

What if I am not happy about the arrangements?

If you are not happy about any aspect of the support you are receiving, talk first to your Personal Adviser.

Alternatively, if you want to complain, you can raise it with the Complaints Manager.