Coming into Care Guide (teen)Download PDF
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You will have a named Social Worker who will be responsible for your care.
They are there to help and support you.
You might feel scared and lonely - but don’t! You’ve got plenty of people on your side whose job it is to care for you and you need to remember that you’re the one that matters and that you’re not alone.
It can be hard and might take a few months to get used to it, but it will get better.
You might not want to talk to your Social Worker, Foster Carer or Residential Home worker but it is important that you find someone to talk to who you can trust.
Talk to someone you have a good relationship with. This could be someone at school, someone you know, a friend of your family but someone who has always been there for you.
Speak to your Social Worker and make sure that you have the telephone number of someone you can talk to. Whatever happens remember there are always people out there for you and it’s important to let them know how you are feeling
We know how important it is for you to see your family and friends. When you first come into care an agreement will be made about when and where you can see your family and other important people. If you are old enough to understand, you will be involved in talking about when you see your family.
We will always support and encourage contact with your family and other important people. You can tell your social worker or carer the names of everyone you would like to spend time with.
There are many reasons why you may be cared for or in care.
It could be because your parents are unable to look after you due to illness or family problems. You may be in care because the courts decide that your home is not a safe place for you to live or because you may be placing yourself or others in danger.
When you reach 18 you may be able to remain in care, or stay with your Foster Carers or in the place where you are living, otherwise your Social Worker will help you find a safe home.
Lots of children do not really understand why they are cared for. You may not have had this explained to you or perhaps it was explained at a time when you were stressed or worried and could not take it all in.
So, you can ask your Social Worker or Carer to explain it to you. They can also help you plan what to say if you feel embarrassed about telling your friends. At school your teacher may also be able to help you plan what to say.
The law says that all children and young people who are cared for by Foster Carers (including friends and family foster carers) or in children’s homes and sometimes in youth custody centres, must have a Care Plan.
Sometimes children and young people who live at home with their parents have a Care Plan.
In Cheshire East children and young people with a Care Plan are called ‘cared for’ children and young people.
The aim of your Care Plan is: to keep you safe, make sure you are being well cared for and that you are supported to do well in life.
Your Social Worker must listen carefully to what you have to say and make sure your Care Plan includes your views, wishes and feelings.
Your Social Worker must also listen to what your parents have to say as well as other people that know and care about you. This might be your grandparents, aunties and uncles, your teacher, your carers and your doctor.
Your Social Worker will arrange regular care planning meetings. At care planning meetings, you, your parents, your carers and other people who know and care about you will get together to make sure your Care Plan is meeting your needs and working for you, and that you are safe, being well cared for and being supported to do well in life.
It is not always possible for children and their parents to go to care planning meetings. If for any reason you or your parents can’t go to a care planning meeting your Social Worker must make sure that yours and your parents’ views are discussed at the meeting and you know what is being discussed and decided at the meeting.
Not all children who are “cared for” live with Foster Carers. Sometimes children and young people are cared for by someone in their own family like grandparents, aunties or uncles or a close family friend. They would be “assessed” (checked out) just like Foster Carers to make sure they are able to look after you properly.
You might live with Foster Carers; these are people who look after children and young people in their own home. Foster Carers come from lots of different backgrounds, they may be single, a couple, different races and religions and they may have children of their own. Foster Carers are checked, approved and trained to look after other people’s children. They don’t replace your parents but while you live with them you should be treated the same as any other member of their family.
All your Health Assessments will be carried out by someone who is qualified to look after your medical needs. When you first come into care your Health Assessment will be carried out by a doctor. Then your Health Assessments will usually be carried out by your School Nurse or the Cared For Children and Young People’s Nurse.
When you first become cared for you have a Health Assessment which means that we can find out really important information about you such as if you have an allergy or an illness, or need any particular help with your health.
It’s good to have regular Health Assessments every year so any problems can be picked up early and sorted out.
Your cared for Children’s Nurse is also available if you wanted to talk to someone in between your annual Health Assessments about any health worries you may have
If it’s possible you will stay in the same school but this might not be possible if you move to live in a different area. We will make sure that you have your say on which school you go to and that the school is doing enough to support you.
If you move placement Social Workers and Independent Reviewing Officers will do as much as they can to make sure your education is not disrupted. We will only move you if it’s the best thing for you.
If you are not living with your family it does not need to affect your learning. In fact it can be a good opportunity to get extra help. You can get one to one tuition if you’ve missed out on some school work and need help to catch up or if you’re good at something and want to get even better.
The Virtual School Team will make sure you get all the help and support you want and need. The team is led by a Virtual Head Teacher. The virtual school is a team of teachers and dedicated education professionals who work to support the education of all cared for children and young people in Cheshire East.
When you are cared for the local authority must make sure you get the best education that meets your needs. You will have a plan which is done within 20 days and reviewed every 6 months. It should include:
Emergency Duty Team
www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/children_and_families/checs.aspx A social worker is available from 4.30pm and all night if you need help in an emergency. Please call 0300 123 5022.
Under 18? Contact ChildLine anytime. Calls are free and confidential 0800 1111
The Children’s Society www.childrenssociety.org.uk
The National Youth Advocacy Service provides a range of rights based services for children, young people and vulnerable adults. You can contact them on 0808 808 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to make a complaint about how you are being looked after or the services you are receiving, you can contact Ofsted by phone on 0300 123 4666 or email: email@example.com
Who Cares Trust www.thewhocarestrust.org.uk
The Who Cares Trust provides a voice for children in care. If you’re a young person in care or a young care leaver who needs advice, you can call 020 7017 8901 between 10:30am and 3pm Monday to Friday or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting your IRO: If you don’t know your IRO’s contact details please contact the Children’s Safeguarding Unit:
Tel: 01606 288930
Requesting an Independent Advocate:
Freephone: 08000 546530
Tel: 01606 333589
Text: 07899 762 287 and start your message with SCCOMPAN
Write to us at:
Compliance and Customer Relations,
Cheshire East Council
Westfields, Middlewich Road,
Sandbach, CW11 1HZ