Leaving care

Sooner or later you will leave care and it's important that you have support to do this. You may be leaving care to live independently, return to your family, or you may choose to stay with your foster carer after you turn 18.

Below you can find information on your options and what support is available to you.

The Leaving Care team

The Leaving Care team are made up of Personal Advisors, an Accommodation Officer and an Education, Training and Employment Officer.

They are managed by a Team Manager.

The Leaving Care team are based at Darby House.

A pathway plan will be put together with you when you are 16 by your social worker. This will set out everything that is important to you, what help you will be given and when things should be done. The sorts of things that should be covered in your pathway plan include:

  • what support you need
  • what practical skills you have and need help with
  • your health
  • your leisure interests
  • your finances
  • your accommodation
  • further education, training and/or employment
  • any other skills to help you become independent.

Your pathway plan will be reviewed at least every six months.

At 16 you will be provided with a personal advisor to work with you and your social worker on your pathway plan for the future. Once you have left care you may no longer have a social worker.

Your personal advisor will meet with you and discuss what your future goals are and what support you need.

They will record this information in your pathway plan.

The team will support you by:

  • helping you to find a suitable place to live
  • help you with employment, further education/training
  • further developing your skills to help you become independent
  • helping you identify and join in social activities.

Who else can the Leaving Care team help?

You can get some help if you have been in care for more than 13 weeks from the age of 14 and you are still in care after your 16th Birthday, Children's Social Care can give you information and advice in dealing with a range of things when you leave care.

You are also entitled to an assessment by a social worker if you are between 21 and 25, your circumstances change after you have left care and you feel you need support, especially if this is with regard to your education.

You are welcome to discuss your accommodation options at any time with the Leaving Care Accommodation Officer.

Please contact your Personal Advisor to arrange an appointment.

Leaving care to live independently

If there is a Care Order in place this would normally last until you are 18 and so Children's Social Care would have to be in agreement for you to leave care to live independently before this time. The only exception would be if a Court agreed to the Care Order being discharged and this would only happen if they were certain that you could look after yourself and live independently.

If there is no Care Order in place and you are voluntarily accommodated, you may be able to leave care to live independently from the age of 16, although it is important that you do not leave before you feel ready to go it alone. You need the best chance possible of feeling settled and making a success of your adult life. What we do know is that young people who leave care too soon often find this much harder than they thought it would be. We also know that young people who stay with their carers until 18 or beyond, often do better in life.

Talk to your Personal Advisor for further information and to work out the best option to suit your life and ambition.

Once you are ready to leave care, it will be discussed with you what sort of accommodation you want to move in to. There are different types of places you can live.

Staying Put

You may be able to 'stay put' with foster carers in your current foster placement from the age of 18 up until 21 years old.

What help will you get with money?

Up to the age of 18, the Leaving Care team will pay for your housing wherever you are living. Your basic living expenses are also paid for although this money may go to your carer.

When you are aged 18 and over, you can claim benefits, if you are not already working, including Housing Benefit. You will therefore stop getting help with living expenses and housing costs from the Leaving Care team.

You will be entitled to a Leaving Care Grant when you move into your own housing to help you set up your home. This is to buy essential things like furniture, a fridge and cooker.

Depending on your circumstances there are a number of benefits that you may be entitled to:

Housing benefit - if you pay rent you may be able to claim housing benefit to help with your rent bill.

Council tax support - Council Tax Support (CTS) is a type of discount off your council tax bill. CTS is a means tested discount based on your household income and any savings, so people who get welfare benefits and those on low income are likely to qualify.

Income support - to qualify for Income Support you must be all 5 of the following:

  • pregnant or a carer or a lone parent with a child under 5 or, in some cases, unable to work because you're sick or disabled
  • between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age
  • you have no income or a low income and no more than £16,000 in savings (your partner's income and savings will be taken into account)
  • working less than 16 hours a week and your partner must also work less than 24 hours a week (you may still qualify if you do unpaid voluntary work or go on parental or paternity leave).
  • living in England, Scotland or Wales.
Also, you qualify if you're in full-time education (excluding university), are aged between 16 and 20 and are one of the following:
  • a parent
  • not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • a refugee learning English.

You can claim Income Support by phone. Contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688. Or you can you can fill out a claim form on GOV.UK website. Print it out and post it to your local Jobcentre plus office.

Employment and Support Allowance - Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who are unable to work due to illness or disability. You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent our illness or disability affects your ability to work. The quickest way to apply for Employment and Support Allowance is by phone on 0800 055 6688. You can also fill in and print out the ESA1 form and send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Universal Credit - you may be able to claim Universal Credit instead of certain benefits if you're on a low income or out of work. To apply for universal credit please visit the GOV.UK website.

You can get further advice on benefits at:

Leaving Care team

Telford & Wrekin Council, Darby House, Lawn Central, Telford TF3 4JA

Telephone: 01952 385817
Email: twcareleavers@telford.gov.uk


Housing Needs team

Telford & Wrekin Council, Darby House, Lawn Central, Telford TF3 4JA

Telephone: 01952 381925
Email: housing.services@telford.gov.uk


Customer Complaints, Compliments and Feedback

Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford TF3 4NT

Telephone: 01952 382006
Email: customer.quality@telford.gov.uk


Local Authority Leadership

 

Mr Clive Jones, Director of Children and Adult Services

Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford TF3 4NT

Telephone: 01952 385100
Email: clive.jones@telford.gov.uk


Telford & Wrekin Careers Advice and Guidance

Future Focus, Southwater 1, Telford TF3 4JG

Telephone: 01952 388988
Email: future.focus@telford.gov.uk


Children's Participation / Community Support team

Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford TF3 4NT

Telephone: 01952 382245
Email: communityparticipationteam@telford.gov.uk


Rights and Representations / Independent Safeguarding, Quality and Advocacy Service

Telford & Wrekin Council, Darby House, Lawn Central, Telford TF3 4JA

Michael Bould - Rights and Representations Co-ordinator

Telephone: 01952 385112
Mobile: 07976 100588
Email: michael.bould@telford.gov.uk

Amanda Farrington - Rights and Representations Officer

Telephone: 01952 385102
Mobile: 07807 966126
Email: amanda.farrington@telford.gov.uk


Other places you can go to for help or advice include:

Adult Social Care

Telford & Wrekin Council, Darby House, Telford TF3 4JA

Telephone: 01952 385385

The Job Box

A one stop shop for information and support on job vacancies, training and employment in the Telford and Wrekin area.

Telephone: 01952 382888
Website: www.telfordjobbox.co.uk

Kooth

Free, safe and anonymous online counselling and support for young people. Kooth is available 24 hour per day. There will be professional counsellors available for live online chats at the following times:

  • 12noon - 11pm (Monday to Friday)
  • 6pm - 11pm (Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays).

Website: www.kooth.com

Ladder for Shropshire

Provides a one-stop-shop for information on Apprenticeships and Training providers in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Telephone: 0330 999 8441
Email: ladder@apprentice-providers.co.uk
Website: www.ladderforshropshire.co.uk

Telford Wellbeing Service

Telephone: 01952 457415
Email: wellbeing.telford@sssft.nhs.uk
Website: www.mpft.nhs.uk

Recharge Telford

Supports under 21's to overcome their individual barriers, support with emotional wellbeing, drug and alcohol use, self-harm and bullying.

Telephone: 01952 660 000
Email: info@rechargetelford.org.uk
Website: www.rechargetelford.org.uk

BECOME.

Working to improve the everyday lives and future life chances of children in care and young carers since 1992.

Telephone: 0800 023 2033
Email: advice@becomecharity.org.uk
Website: www.becomecharity.org.uk

There is support available from the education, training and employment officer who can help with the following:

  • writing a CV
  • interview skills training
  • advice on ETE provision and college courses
  • support with job search
  • help with University applications
  • financial support for expenses relating to job search, attending interviews, etc.

Work Experience

Work experience placements are available in several local businesses and within the Council, offering visits, taster sessions and work placement opportunities.

Volunteering

A range of volunteering opportunities are available, giving opportunities to gain experience of working as part of a team and some work experience in a range of areas.

If you wish to return to education or training once you have reached the age of 21, you can request support from the Leaving Care team up to the age of 25. We will carry out an assessment of your needs and, depending on your circumstances, will offer Pathway support and financial assistance to support with your training or education expenses

Apprenticeships 

Apprenticeships are available with many local employers including Telford and Wrekin Council. 

University

If you are interested in going to University, we will support you in applying, sorting finance, writing your personal statement, visits and interviews. We offer a package of financial support when you are at University including paying for your accommodation, a bursary and assistance with travel costs. We will also help you in applying for any financial support that may be available from University and can help to put support in place if needed during your studies.

Local authorities in England are required to publish a Local Offer for care leavers, providing information about services which the local authority offers that may assist you in, or in preparing for, adulthood and independent living. This includes services relating to health and well-being, relationships, education and training, employment, accommodation and participation in society.

As 'corporate parents', local authorities are responsible for you not only when you are in care, but also when you have left care, up to the age of 25.

We are continuing to work to develop and enhance our Local Offer and would very much welcome any feedback or suggestions.

Email: laura.moore@telford.gov.uk
Telephone: 01952 385658
View our Local Offer to Care Leavers.

Last updated: 9.18am on Tuesday 8 October 2019