See the detailed criteria below or check out our simple flow charts (PDF 1730KB) to see what your legal status is and what you are entitled to.
If you are aged 16 or 17 and;
You are an Eligible care leaver.
If you are 16 or 17 and;
You are a Relevant care leaver.
A Relevant care leaver can include those that have been detained through the criminal justice system or were in hospital on their 16th Birthday.
If you are:
You are a Former Relevant care leaver.
If at the age of 21 you're still being helped by Lancashire county Council with education or training then you'll remain a Former Relevant care leaver, until a maximum age of 25. What support you'll be receiving must be set out in your pathway plan.
You can also return back to Lancashire County Council at any point between your 21st and 25th birthday if you want to return to education or training. You will then be a Former Relevant care leaver once again.
If you are 16-21 and;
Follow the links above to find out more about the support you're entitled to depending on which criteria you meet.
Read on to find out more about personal advisers and pathway plans for Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant care leavers or see help for contact details and other information and advice for a list of websites you might find useful.
If you are a care leaver, just before your 16th birthday you'll be allocated a personal adviser. They will provide you with advice and guidance and help prepare you for living independently (along with your carer and social worker).
Once you turn 18, in most cases, you'll no longer have a social worker so your personal adviser will make sure you get the services you need and help co-ordinate your pathway plan and reviews. You will have a personal adviser up to the age of 21, or 25 if you're in education or training.
Every Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant care leaver must have a pathway plan. Your pathway plan is about your needs and what we all need to do to ensure your successful transition to adult life. You will continue to have a pathway plan until you're 21 (or longer if you're in education or training).
There are different areas that will be covered in your pathway plan, these include
For your pathway plan to be effective it will be based on an up to date needs assessment (an assessment we carry out to find out what support you need). It will set out the support that will be offered to you to achieve your aspirations. We aim to fully involve you in the development of your pathway plan. It's really important that you contribute. Remember this is your plan so get involved, the plan will confirm what support will be provided so remember to ask for a copy.
With your agreement, we will seek the views of our partner agencies when completing your pathway plan. This may include housing, education, training and employment providers, benefits and health services, youth offending services and probation to ensure we all work together to provide you with clear and consistent advice and support.
Your plan must be reviewed every 6 months or earlier if there is a change of circumstance like moving into different accommodation.
The Pathway to success factsheet from the Become charity for children in care and young care leavers has more information about pathway plans. The factsheet is also translated into Arabic, Kurdish, Pashto, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.
If you need to contact Lancashire children's social care call 0300 123 6720 or out of hours you can call 0300 123 6722 (8pm-8am Monday to Friday and any time during weekends and bank holidays).
You can also ring the above numbers if
Our Young People's Service can offer general advice and support, get in touch with us for help.
We are improving the information we and other services provide to care leavers and we want to hear from you. Tell us what you think.
If you have any concerns about the service and support you are receiving then please raise this as soon as possible with your social worker, personal adviser or their manager, hopefully this will be resolved quickly.
Or you may want to contact Childrens Rights service to request an advocate, phone 01772 759 233 or Freephone 0800 085 6324
However, if you do want to make a complaint contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 6720.
To find out more about leaving care, education and benefits take a look at these websites:
National government – benefits calculators - information on benefits and links to benefit guides-also discuss with your personal adviser about advance claims for care leavers.
Shelter – housing advice
Citizens Advice Bureau – information about money, benefits, your rights, employment, housing and the law
Propel - Information on what support is available for care leavers at university
National government- Information on all aspects of higher education
UCAS - Information on applying for courses
National government – information about student finance
Coram Voice - information about your rights and entitlements as a care leaver
Rees: The care leavers foundation – small grants for care leavers aged 18-29
The care leavers association – a charity aimed at improving the lives of care leavers of all ages.
Become - online advice and information for children in care and care leavers