West Berkshire Council

Support for 'Looked After' Children and Young People

Information for children and young people in care in West Berkshire

This page tells you about the people and organisations who are there to help 'looked after' children and young people to lead a healthy, fulfilling and active childhood. You can also read about our promises to support you in pdf icon The Pledge [178kb].

Every child or young person who becomes looked after by West Berkshire Council, receives a pack of information that explains what they can expect during their time in care. If you haven't received your pack, ask your social worker.

People who are there for you

You will have your own social worker who will get to know you and help you in practical ways, as well as working with you to develop a plan for the future. The plan is written down and you are given a copy.

An Independent Reviewing Officer will meet with you on your own every six months to review your plan and listen to your views. The process for review is explained in pdf icon How West Berkshire Council conducts reviews of the care given to looked after children [20kb].

Your social worker may also put you in touch with Here4Me, which is an independent advocacy service. They can link you up with a volunteer mentor and can support you if you need to attend child protection meetings. They also help young asylum seekers who are in care.

Activities and leisure

You will have free access to West Berkshire leisure centres for some activities and you can join groups and clubs organised by the Youth Service. You can also ask for free music lessons.

Your education and future

We will meet with you and plan any moves between schools.

We will put together a personal education plan and encourage you to have high ambitions and to get good results. If you fall behind in your studies, we will help you. At the time you are leaving care we will work closely with you to help you make the move out into the adult world. If you want to go on to higher education, we will support you, which may include financial support. We will also provide work placements.

Your life, family and friends

We will help you to stay in touch with family and friends if this is what you want. For a small number of children, contact may be limited or stopped by a court order. If you are not happy with any of the arrangements, tell someone and we will try to put it right.

We will help you to stay in good health, celebrate your achievements and help you pursue your hopes and dreams for the future. If you follow a religion we will support you to do so.

What if I'm not happy about my care or I don't agree?

If you think we are not meeting our promise to support you while you are being looked after by West Berkshire council, our pdf icon Unhappy? [1Mb] leaflet tells you what to do.

Your first step would be to talk to your social worker, keyworker, teacher or someone you trust.  You can also talk to your Independent Reviewing Officer at your next review.

Alternatively, if you want to make a complaint you can raise it with the Complaints Manager.

Have your say on improving care for yourself and others

We want to hear your views about being looked after in West Berkshire. You can join our Children in Care Council (R:Vue) where young people in care can have a say on issues that matter to them.