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Children in care and care leavers pledge

This pledge sets out our promise on what you can expect from us during your time in care, and after you move on.

The In Care Council help to monitor this pledge to make sure we are supporting young people.

Your social worker

  • You will have a social worker and we will try our best to make this the same social worker over time
  • You will have your social workers contact details so you can reach them when you need to. They may not always be available but there will be someone in the team that will be able to help until your social worker is available
  • If you contact us, your social worker or someone else in the team will return your call within two working days
  • Your social worker will be in touch with you regularly, at least every 6 weeks, depending on your needs

How we make decisions

  • We will involve you in planning our services and explain our decisions
  • This means that we will:
    • Ask you what you want
    • Listen to what you say
    • Act on what you have told us
  • We will try our best to do what you ask, but sometimes we will not be able to make this promise and when this happens we will explain why

Your care plan

  • You will have an up to date care plan that is designed to meet your needs
  • Your care plan will consider your race, religion and cultural needs
  • We will have high aspirations for your opportunities, and support you to achieve your goals, and will celebrate these
  • Your care plan will be written down and you will be given a copy
  • We will act on your care plan
  • Your care plan will be reviewed at least every six months
  • Meetings to review your care plan will be run by an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). You will know their name and how to contact them

Your Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

  • You will have an Independent Reviewing Officer who will work with you, your social worker, carers, and family to ensure that your needs are being met, and that your wishes and feelings are being listened to, and where possible acted upon
  • We will try to ensure you have the same IRO for every review. Should there need to be a change in your IRO we will talk with you about this, and ensure you meet your new IRO before any meetings take place.
  • You IRO will contact you before your reviews to obtain your views, wishes, and feelings. This can be through a meeting (face to face), telephone, or letter. You and your IRO can agree on the best way to communicate with one another.

Where you live

  • We will find you a home that is as near to your family and friends as possible
  • We will find you a home that suits you and meets your individual needs
  • If you move, we will try to keep you at the same school (if that is what you want)
  • Before you move, except in an emergency, we will offer you an independent advocate
  • If you move, your Independent Reviewing Officer will review your care plan within four weeks

Friends and family

  • We will ask you who you want to stay in touch with
  • We will help you to stay in touch with your family, friends, and other people who are important to you
  • If you are not allowed to see someone, your social worker will make sure you understand the reasons why

Your education

  • We will help you to do the best that you possibly can
  • We will make sure you get a place at the best school for you
  • Your school will have a named teacher for children in care and their job is to look after your needs. We will make sure you have their name and contact details
  • You will be fully involved in plans to support you in school. These plans will be in your Personal Education Plan (PEP)
  • We will offer you high quality work experience opportunities
  • We will support you to remain in education after you are 16 years, or alternatively on a traineeship or apprenticeship

Your identity

  • We will meet your religious and cultural needs
  • We will ensure that you have opportunity to meet other people who share your way of life or culture
  • We will encourage you to develop your talents, interests and hobbies and support you to do the things that you enjoy
  • We will celebrate your successes and achievements

Your health

  • We will look after your emotional needs as well as physical health needs
  • We will encourage you to be healthy
  • We will make sure there is always someone to talk to about how you feel
  • We will make sure you get regular health checks ups with a nurse or GP
  • We will make sure you get regular dental and optician check ups
  • You will be given the contact details for the nurse for children in care, who can give you confidential advice and help you be as healthy as you can

Leaving care and moving on

  • You can stay in care until you are 18. You may even be able to continue living with your carers or in your care setting after you are 18
  • We will ensure that a Pathway Plan is created to plan for your move towards independence. The IRO will ensure this reflects what you need and the support you may require when you become 18
  • Your Pathway Plan will be reviewed every six months
  • We will support you to move on from care
  • We will support you to do what you decide
  • If you want to go back into education or training between 18 and 25, we will make a new plan to support you
  • We will stay in touch with you until you are 25 years old
  • You will have a copy of your Pathway Plan

If you have any problems or worries

  • We will work hard to sort out any problems or worries that you have
  • If we can’t do what you ask, we will explain the reasons why
  • We will make sure you know how to get an independent advocate – that’s someone who will listen to you and work with you to get things changed
  • We will make sure you have all the information you need to make a complaint and we promise to always take your complaints seriously
  • You can contact your IRO if you are worried or don’t feel listened to, they will try to help and can support you should you wish to make a complaint

Are we keeping our promises?

You can let us know how well we are doing by sending your comments to:

Rachael Ward, Head of Service: Care Outcomes

Email: rachael_ward@bathnes.gov.uk

Telephone: 01225 47 79 14.

Sarah Watts, Complaints and Data Protection Team Manager

Email: sarah_watts@bathnes.gov.uk

Telephone: 01225 47 79 31.

Get involved

Join the In Care Council to improve the services for children and young people in care. You can email ICC@offtherecord-banes.co.uk or call 01225 31 24 81.

Children’s rights and advocacy service

Off the Record provide advocacy services for children and young people in Bath and North East Somerset. You can email them on advocacy@offtherecord-banes.co.uk or call 01225 31 24 81.