Your rights

Understanding your rights as a care leaver is very important.

There are certain things that we have to provide you by law such as a personal adviser, pathway plan and financial support to meet education, training and employment needs.

These are just a few examples, you can read on for more information and the different sections in the local offer will go into more detail.

The support we must give you by law

We have to provide advice and support from a personal adviser

Following changes introduced through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, you will be able to ask for support from your personal adviser up to the age of 25, whether you are in education or training or not. 

Your right to be heard and taken seriously

You have a right to be involved in all decisions about your plans for leaving care. You have a right to support from an independent advocate if you want to challenge decisions about the support we give you.

Access to records

Once you are 18 you can ask to access your records, which are kept by Childrens Services, such as reviews, assessments and pathway plans.

Education, employment or training

The law says we must provide you with assistance with expenses linked with employment, education and training. In particular:

  • a Higher Education bursary of at least £2,000 if you go to University.
  • somewhere to stay during University holidays if you are in full time Higher Education or full time residential further education and your term time accommodation is not available.

Staying Put

We must support you to stay with your former foster carer up to the age of 21 if this is what you and your foster carer want. Your social worker will have all the details on Staying Put.

Leaving care before turning 18

If you choose to leave care before age 18, we must provide you with suitable accommodation.

More information and advice

The your voice section of the care leavers local offer has more information about how you can have your say on issues that affect care leavers and children in care.

The youthzone has some more general information about young people's rights.

Other organisations that provide information and advice:

  • Coram Voice - information about your rights as a care leaver
  • Citizens Advice - information about human rights, consumer rights and your rights at work