What is a care leavers local offer?
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 ensures that all local authorities establish a Corporate Parenting Board, and publish a 'local offer for care leavers', setting out the services on offer from both the local authority and other agencies.
The local authority must publish information about:
- services which the local authority offers for care leavers as a result of its functions under the Children Act 1989
- other services which the local authority offers that may assist care leavers in, or in preparing for, adulthood and independent living
- information about services offered by others which the local authority has power to offer as a result of its functions under the Children Act 1989/ 2004
As your corporate parent, it is our responsibility to make sure you know what services are available to you, and what you can expect to receive when you are a care leaver. Here is Surrey's Corporate Parenting Strategy which outlines our promises to looked after children and care leavers.
For former relevant care leavers, you are now able to request support and advice between the ages of 21 and 24 and a PA will be allocated to you either until you reach your twenty-fifth birthday, or until you decide you no longer want this support.
The local offer must be updated from time to time, as appropriate but only after consultation with relevant persons, including care leavers. It must reflect what you tell us you need, and not what we think you need.
The local offer for care leavers should relate to six areas, these are:
- Health and wellbeing
- Education and training
- Participation in society
Terminology used by the care leavers' service
If you are a care leaver, you have certain rights and entitlements from Surrey Children's Services. Although we sometimes refer to young people in different categories, to us you are an individual. Below is a basic explanation of what these terms mean:
An eligible young person means you are aged 16 or 17 and you are still in care.
A relevant young person means you are aged 16 or 17, but you left care on or after your sixteenth birthday.
If you are a qualifying young person, you are aged between 16 and 21 (or up to 25 if in education) who stopped being looked after or accommodated in a variety of other settings, or being privately fostered, after the age of 16 and not on your sixteenth birthday.
Extension to 25
If you are under 25 years old and were previously open to the leaving care team, under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, you are entitled to request support. Contact the Care Leavers' Service and ask to speak to the duty worker.