As a care leaver you are legally entitled to a range of support and services from the local authority.

Find out what these services are and how the Leaving Care team can help you access them.

Our commitment to care leavers

This is your entitlement to leaving care support, which is part of the Local Offer.

  • The Leaving Care team supports all young people who are looked after from the age of 16 onwards.
  • We provide you with help and support as you leave care up to the age of 25 if needed.
  • We help you plan for your future and support you in reaching your goals.

If you are not sure that you are eligible for support then please ask your Personal Advisor.

Leaving care - Who and where to get support from

Your personal advisor and social worker

After your 16th birthday you will:

  • be allocated a personal advisor from the Leaving Care team
  • have a named social worker up to the age of 18.

From your 18th birthday your personal advisor will be your named worker.

What your personal advisor will do

  • Help you prepare for living independently
  • Help you manage money
  • Help you find the right education, training or job
  • Offer advice and support
  • Tell you how we will help and support you in your Pathway Plan.

Contact

  • They will contact you regularly.
  • This will usually be at least once every 8 weeks, although sometimes a different arrangement might be made.

Meetings

  • You will agree how often to meet up with your personal advisor.
  • This will depend on how much support you need at the time. For example, if you are moving into your own flat you will probably need a lot of support to get settled.

As you get older and more independent, you may feel you don't need as much contact and support from us and the number of visits may become less frequent.

Your Pathway Plan

Once you reach the age of 16 we work with you and the important people in your life to assess what help and support you need, and write a Pathway Plan.

You Pathway Plan:

  • sets out your needs, views and future goals
  • how we are going to support you
  • who is going to do what and when.

We will review your Pathway Plan with you regularly, at least every six months, so it is kept up-to-date.

Independent visitors

You may choose to have an independent visitor. They are someone you can talk to, get along with and ask for advice. They might be someone you already know or they might be completely new to you.

More information: More about Independent visitors

Staying put with your former foster carer

If this is what you and your foster carer would like, we will support you to stay with them until you are 21. This is called a 'staying put' arrangement.

No 11

This is a space in Huddersfield Town Centre where you can access support and services from the Leaving Care team and partner agencies. It is a positive environment, specifically designed for young people by young people.

At No 11 we encourage you to:

  • build and maintain positive links and relationships by encouraging and supporting you to achieve the goals you have set in your Pathway Plan
  • take full advantage of education and training opportunities available
  • accept help and support from other agencies when you need it
  • take part in wider activities at No 11
  • get involved in a programme of ongoing work to prepare for independence.

Leaving care - Types of support

Education, training and employment
  • A bursary for care leavers in higher education
  • A bursary for care leavers in apprenticeships
  • A Kirklees wide apprenticeship scheme
  • Virtual school - offering support to young people aged 16-18
  • A contribution towards helping care leavers who want to learn to drive.

At Kirklees Council we can also:

  • Offer access to a Careers Advisor within No 11
  • Support you into work by offering part-time jobs and apprenticeships
  • Help your manager to support you if you are employed by the council.
Health and wellbeing
  • Help to access looked after children nurses
  • Help to access specialist mental health support:
    • In Kirklees we can provide access to a Senior Mental Health Practitioner who offers consultation and directly works with you. They can help you link in with adult mental health services if you need them.
    • If you have a medical condition - including struggling with mental health - we will work with GPs to make sure you get the right support.
  • Help to register with a GP
  • Offer information on healthy living
  • Help with transport costs to attend health appointments
  • Provide support if you are a young parent
  • Provide a care leavers health journey - a summary of your health needs and history.

At No 11 we offer:

  • Access to sexual health support
  • Access to drug and alcohol support
  • Help to get a reduced rate for council leisure services across Kirklees
Relationships
  • Support from your peers via a mentoring scheme
  • Encourage you to take part in the Children in Care Council or Care Leavers Forum - which offer peer support and lets you have a say in how services are delivered.
  • Help and support to re-connect with your family if you wish and it is safe for you to do so.
Accommodation

If you are aged over 18, your personal advisor will help you to find suitable accommodation. This might involve:

  • Where entitled a leaving care grant to assist buying what you need when you move in to your own home
  • Supported lodgings - a stepping stone to independence
  • Help to claim housing benefit or universal credit
  • Advice and support to be ready for independent living (tenancy ready)
  • An independent living skills training course

There is a pathway for care leavers ready to move in to their own place:

  • You will be awarded the highest band to bid on properties in the areas you choose
  • Support will be provided before and after moving to ensure this goes smoothly

Kirklees Council offers a Council Tax exemption for care leavers.

Finances
  • Support to open a bank account
  • Support to gain important documents such as a passport and/or provisional driving licence
  • Support to get your National Insurance number
  • Exceptional financial support in emergencies.

Contact details

  • Leaving Care team
  • Email
  • Phone 01484 221000
  • Address Ground Floor - North, Civic Centre 1, High Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2NF

If you've got a problem

Your worker will always listen to any problems you have but if you want to make a complaint:

Or contact:

  • Children's Rights Service
  • Email
  • Phone 01484 225288
  • Text: Phone 07938 195322
  • Address Freepost, Kirklees Council, Children's Rights Team
Email: Telephone: Text: Freepost: