What is a care leavers personal adviser and a pathway plan?

It is important for you to know what support you will receive from the Care Leavers' Service (CLS) as you begin to start your journey into independence. We want you to know how we will support, and also how this might look. It will be different for every young person depending on your needs and what support you would like.

What is a personal adviser?

When you enter care, you are allocated a social worker. Before you turn 18 you will be introduced to a personal advisor (PA) who will work alongside your social worker until you reach the age of 18, at which stage the PA will become your worker and you will no longer have an allocated social worker.

As a young adult, you can make your own decisions and choices. Your PA is there to support and advise you in making the best decisions.

Your PA will continue working with you until you turn 21, or up to the age 25 if you are in full-time education, or if you have made a request for additional support and advice.

Your PA will give you their contact information, and should always tell you what days they work, if they are going on holiday and who you can call if you can't get hold of them in an emergency.

For care leavers aged 18 to 21, your PA will make contact with you every eight weeks to make sure you are okay and provide you with support where needed.

Your celebrations

Becoming another year older is a day to celebrate, whether you are turning 18 or 21, the CLS want to celebrate your birthday with you whilst they are working with you.

For your eighteenth birthday you will receive a voucher or gift up to the value of £100. On your twenty-first birthday, you will receive a voucher or gift up to the value of £50.

What is a pathway plan?

A Pathway Plan is a document that you will complete with your social worker or PA between the ages of 16-21. Your Pathway Plan will set out your needs, your views, any future goals, and what support you will receive.

Your Pathway Plan will also consider your education, employment, health, finances, social needs, relationships and accommodation. If you request advice and support after you turn 21, up until your 25th birthday, your pathway plan will concentrate on the areas you feel you need support with.

Between 21 and 25, you will have less contact from us unless you need it. Regular pathway planning is not continued. It is important to recognise the change in duties to you and recognise that your primary source of financial and welfare support is provided in the same way as your peers with additional support from the CLS. Support is designed to be a 'lighter touch' but will meet your needs if you need help. We will also encourage other agencies to contact the CLS if they feel that you need assistance.

Your PA is responsible for ensuring you have a relevant, up-to-date Pathway Plan which considers your current needs and what needs to happen to aid your transition into adulthood and independent living. The plan needs to be clear, include your goals and how these will be achieved, by whom, and by when – these will then be reviewed at least every 6 months until you are 20 years old. The plan is reviewed annually from your 21st birthday.

Your Pathway Plan should be created with you, reflect your current status and views and where you wish to get to – after all, it is your plan.