Preparing for independence

If you're in care, we need to work out what your needs are and how we can support you to live independently.

We will do an assessment and work with you to create a plan. This is called your pathway plan.

Pathway plans

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:

  • health and self-care skills
  • accommodation
  • family and social relations
  • identity
  • education, employment and training
  • emotional and behavioural

Your plan your life

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.

Working together

Your pathway plan is written by your personal adviser after consultation with you and important people in your life. It sets out your needs, views and future goals, and identifies exactly what support you will receive from us.


We will review your pathway plan with you regularly so that it is kept up-to-date. We must review your plan every 6 months, or earlier if there is a change of circumstance like moving into different accommodation.

Living Independently course

The ASDAN Living Independently short course helps looked after young people and care leavers prepare for living independently.

You will get a copy of the ASDAN Living Independently book no later than your 16th Birthday. Your personal adviser or social worker will be able to give you more information on this.

To help you prepare for living independently and managing your own tenancy the ASDAN-Living Independently book covers areas such as:

  • Earning and spending money
  • Keeping track of your money
  • Making financial choices
  • A place of your own
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Cooking on a budget
  • Practical cooking skills
  • Career management
  • Preparing for the world of work

You can do anything from 10-60 hours. Once completed, the work you have done is accredited and you will get a certificate. Ask your social worker or personal adviser for more details.

More information and advice

The care leavers local offer has more information about support available to you as a care leaver and preparing for independence.

Other organisations that provide information and advice:

  • 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