Being in care or being looked after is another way of saying that you are living away from home. There are many reasons why you may not be able to live at home and so the local authority (Central Bedfordshire) has a responsibility to look after you and be your Corporate Parents. You will have an allocated Social Worker who will work with you to ensure your Care Plan meets your needs.
If you have been in care for 13 weeks, since you were 14 years old and are still in care after 16 years, then you are entitled to a service from Central Bedfordshire Council’s Leaving and After Care Team. This support continues until you are 21 years old, or up to 24 years, if you decide to go to University.
If you are a looked after child or a care leaver from Central Bedfordshire you will have an allocated Social Worker up until you reach the age of 18. Once you reach 18 you will then have an allocated Personal Adviser who will support your transition into adulthood.
Central Bedfordshire Council has endorsed the Charter for Care Leavers which is a set of principles and promises.
Charter for Care Leavers
If you are a Looked After Child or Care Leaver from Central Bedfordshire and require advice or support contact the Looked After Children / Leaving and After Care Team on 0300 300 6210.
The Children in Care Council (CICC) is a group of children and young people who are or have been in the care of Central Bedfordshire Council. The members of the CiCC work with the Corporate Parenting Panel to improve services for Central Bedfordshire Council’s looked after children.
The CiCC meet monthly and work towards a number of priorities which have been agreed between the members of the CiCC and members of Corporate Parenting Panel.
The CiCC organises the Annual Achievement Awards and the school holidays activity programmes. The members of the CiCC are also involved in interviewing social workers, presenting information to senior managers, and consultations on different aspects of being in care.
‘I enjoy being part of the CiCC as I enjoy meeting new people and I get the opportunity to try and be involved in different tasks, like interviews and presentations. We always ensure that are our views and other young peoples views are heard. I have become more confident and built up good team working skills; I am passionate about making the lives of other young people in care better and want to make sure they are being listened to. We have the support of workers and other young people and so nothing that we do is too difficult once we set our mind to it!’ CiCC member
For more information on the CiCC or activities organised please contact the CiCC on firstname.lastname@example.org
When you live away from home you are entitled to an independent visitor, independent visitors do not work for the local authorities, they volunteers who want to help and support a young person in care. An independent visitor is there to listen to you and to encourage you to succeed in all aspects of your life.
When you meet with your independent visitor you may want to take part in a hobby, go for a walk, ask them to help you with your homework or just have someone to talk to about things.
An advocate is someone who will help you get your views heard. They do not work for the local authority.
Advocates can support you:-
In review meetings or other meetings where decisions are being made
If you are unhappy with any aspects of your care or if you don’t agree with your care plan
If you want to make a formal complaint
If you would like an advocate speak to your Social Worker or Independent Review Officer
NYAS will be the offering the service of Independent Visitors and Advocates to contact them direct call 0800 616101.