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Leaving Care - Local Offer

Local Offer for Care Leavers

Once a young person becomes 18 years of age they are no longer legally Looked After.

Although many young people leave care at 18, some young people may leave care before that.

The definition of a care leaver is a young person aged 16 or over who has been looked after by the local authority for a relevant period of time since their 14th birthday, and with a period of care taking place on or after their 16th birthday.

Other young people who were Looked After immediately before a Special Guardianship Order was granted, qualify for advice and assistance from us between the ages of 16 and 21.

Section 2 of the 2017 Children and Social Work Act requires local authorities to publish information about services offered to care leavers and other services that may assist care leavers to transition to adulthood and independent living. This will include financial support, housing, health, education and training. The local offer should ensure that all care leavers have a clear idea of what services are available to them, as well as helping to highlight any gaps in provision or support that the young person may need.

For more information view the Local Offer Handbook on the GOV.UK website (external link).

Care Leavers Rights by the Care Leavers Information Organisation

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Leaving care eligibility

If you have been in care for 13 weeks without a break and are in care on or after your 16th birthday, you have the right to have access to our services.

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How we can help you

We can help you with

  • financial support
  • a safe and nurturing place to live
  • a professional team of social workers, personal advisers and specialists who are available to offer advice, guidance and support
  • a leaving care handbook which offers information about accommodation, the law, education, training and employment, asylum, money and benefits, a multi-faith guide and a sex education CD-Rom
  • recipe book – 'cooking it up' for guidance in learning to cook
  • a tenancy and resettlement handbook – to provide guidance to those moving on to independence
  • a quarterly newsletter
  • occasional activities and social events

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The Young Adults Service

Our team consists of social workers from children's services. Social workers assess and address a number of your daily needs including

  • housing needs
  • education
  • social issues
  • health
  • independence skills.

The young person will usually have a social worker until the age of 18 when a personal advisor or housing support worker will become the "keyworker".

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Personal advisers

You will have access to your own personal adviser who will

  • help you realise what you can achieve
  • support you in education, training and employment
  • build on your strengths and tackle weaknesses
  • address any personal problems
  • explore alternative ways of developing talents, for example, volunteering, community projects, the arts or sport.

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There are a number of staff within the Young Adults Service who are specialists in particular areas. These include

  • an education, training and employment worker
  • aftercare co-ordinators (who support you in housing)
  • a participation assistant (who works to encourage young people to be involved in the running of the service and the Council).
  • administrators
  • a mental health worker
  • a substance misuse worker who can offer advice about drugs and alcohol
  • a mentoring and Participation Practitioner who operates a mentoring scheme

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You will be offered accommodation. Depending on your age and circumstances, the options are

  • supported lodging: live as a member of a household with the choice of being part of the family.
  • semi-independence: shared housing with other young people and/or an independent studio flat with key worker support.
  • training flat: independent accommodation with outreach tenancy support
  • permanent secure accommodation owned by the Council for people aged 18 and over

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Education, training and employment

The education, training and employment officer is available to offer guidance. You have the right to

  • expert advice, information and guidance from your local careers adviser
  • carry on learning, whatever route you choose after school
  • the opportunity to train in order to gain a qualification to NVQ level
  • advice on how to apply for a modern apprenticeship or the new deal scheme, both of which provide work-based training
  • “steps to employability” – work placements throughout the Council for four to eight weeks
  • support (including financial support) if you decide to go to University

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Reasons for having a Young Adults Service

Some children and young people are not able to live at home with their parents. Instead, they are looked after by the local authority, perhaps in residential care or by foster carers. From the age of 16, young people start to prepare for the next phase of their lives - leading to independence. In 2000, the Government passed a new law, The Leaving Care Act, to make sure that all looked after children and young people received proper training and skills to support them through this transition.

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Further information

Young Adults Service
40 Cumberland Road
Wood Green
London N22 7SG

Tel: 020 8489 5800
Fax: 020 8489 5858

Opening hours 9am to 5pm

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