Leaving Care – Local offer for Warwickshire’s Care Leavers

The Children and Social Work Act 2017, requires councils to publish a local offer for care leavers. The local offer is a document that provides information about all the services and support that is available to them in the local area where they live when they leave care. It should include information about legal entitlements (rights) as well as any extra support that the council might choose to give .

The local offer must include details of the services and support that the council provides in relation to:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Relationships & Keeping safe
  • Education and training
  • Employment
  • Accommodation
  • Participation in society

Care Leaver Status

  • Eligible child is a child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who is still being looked after.
  • Relevant child is a child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who has left care. This also includes young people who were detained (e.g. in a youth offending institution or hospital) when they turned 16, but who were looked after immediately before being detained.
  • Former relevant child is a young person over 18 who was previously ‘eligible’ or ‘relevant’. Councils support this group until aged 21, or longer if they are in education or training.
  • Qualifying child is any young person under 25 who stops being looked after or accommodated in a variety of other settings, or being privately fostered, after the age of 16. This also includes young people who are under a special guardianship order.

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Local Offer Principles

The principles require corporate parents:

  • To promote physical, mental health and well being
  • To support and encourage young people to share wishes, views and feelings and to take these into account
  • To support young people to access and make use of services provided by Warwickshire
  • To promote high aspirations and secure the best outcomes for young people
  • For young people to be safe, and for stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work;
  • Prepare those children and young people for adulthood and independent living.

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Health and Well being

  • We will support you to attend an annual health assessment, dental and opticians appointments and provide advice and guidance on living a healthy lifestyle.
  • We will support you to register with a GP.
  • We will give you information on counselling services.
  • We will provide a support service offering advice and guidance on how to improve health outcomes.
  • If you need mental health services we will support you to access the right level of support.
  • We will offer group sessions for parents and YP encouraging healthy lifestyles.
  • We will give you a health passport at 18 years old so that you know your health history.

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Relationships and Keeping safe

  • A consistent Social Worker to support you from 16 – 18 yrs and if you move placement we will visit you within 1 week and minimum 6 weekly thereafter.
  • Where appropriate support you to continue your contact with your independent visitor if you have one.
  • We will support you to regain or maintain contact with people who are special to you.
  • If you move accommodation after you turn 18 we will visit you in the first week. We will then visit you again after 4 weeks and arrange with you thereon, how you would like your contact including frequency. This will be a minimum 8 week.
  • If you require advice, guidance and support from 22 – 25 years of age we can provide a Personal Advisor to support you to overcome challenges that you may be facing.

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Support

  • You will have a pathway plan that you produce with the support of your social worker/ Personal advisor which helps you identify your future goals and aspirations and how we will work together to achieve these.
  • You will have access and be asked if you want support from an independent advocate.
  • We will support you to access your files should you wish to see them.
  • Along the way you may be supported by the Virtual School, youth workers, College Staff, Careers Advisors, Foster carers, Housing key workers, the Children in Care Council (CICC) or the Care leavers FORUM.
  • If you in a crisis out of hours, remember you can contact the Emergency Duty Team and let them know you are a Care Leaver.

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Education, Employment and Training

  • We have a dedicated careers advisor within the team who will work with young people up to age 25.
  • We will be creative in supporting you to engage with activities to build self esteem and confidence.
  • You can receive a bursary up to £1200 if you stay in education for at least 16 hours per wk.
  • We can support you if you chose to go to university by visiting university with you or providing travel costs for the visit. We will support you to obtain tuition fees and maintenance loans.
  • We will give you a £1000 per year bursary for each year at University.
  • We will contribute to your rent costs during University holidays.
  • We will celebrate your successes.
  • We will support you to do work experience and voluntary work.

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Money Matters

  • We will support and fund you to apply for identifying documentation ie passport, provisional licence and your National Insurance number before you turn 18 if you are eligible.
  • We will help you open a bank account and support you to gain access to your junior ISA.
  • Support to set up home, helping to purchase items to fully furnish your new home. This will include your 1st television license and a years home contents insurance.
  • Care leavers who are 16-17 yrs of age living in supported accommodation will be provided with a weekly allowance equivalent to benefits to support them to live independently.
  • We will provide you with a financial gift on your birthday and provide a Christmas or festival allowance.
  • We will advise you on what support is available in an emergency situation.
  • We will work with the job centre and benefit agencies, if you agree, to resolve any issues for you and ask that your Personal Advisor is contacted before any sanction is put in place.
  • You will have a PA who has knowledge of benefits and the claims process.
  • We will provide financial education for all care leavers and debt management support when needed.

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Independent Living/ Housing

  • We will provide you with a safe housing option for 16 & 17yr olds that meet your needs and help you to understand your rights and entitlements if you decide to leave care.
  • We will give you the option to stay put with your foster carer until you are 21 if you and your foster carer agree to this.
  • We will provide practical support for you to move to different accommodation when needed.
  • We will support you when you reach 18 years and above to find somewhere suitable to live, listening to your wishes and needs as outlined in the Homelessness Act 2017, you will have a priority with the housing department who we will work with on your behalf.

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Participation

  • Support you to find information on clubs and groups that you may wish to join.
  • Inform you of different awards and schemes and competitions that you want to enter online with your interests.
  • We will give you an opportunity to participate in Children in Care Council.
  • We will support you to enrol on the electoral register.
  • Giving you advice to support you to challenge any discrimination that you may experience as a care leaver.

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Leaving Care – Local offer for Warwickshire’s Care Leavers was last updated on April 3, 2018.


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