Shropshire Council

Preparing for leaving care

Needs assessment and pathway planning

We have a responsibility to prepare you to leave care at a pace suitable to you. As a young person moving towards independence, you should expect to receive the same level of care
and support as any other young person would receive from a reasonable parent.

Your social worker will undertake a needs assessment and pathway plan with you within three months of your 16th birthday or within two months of being looked after if this is after your 16th birthday.

Your social worker should consider what advice, assistance and support is appropriate to meet your needs with:

  • Emotional and physical health
  • Education, employment and training
  • Accommodation
  • Budgeting and bills
  • Family and other relationships and the need to maintain these
  • Culture and identity
  • Practical skills

You will be fully involved in discussions and plans for your future. Your Pathway Plan will be reviewed:

  • At six monthly intervals (if you are still in care, this will take place alongside your review)
  • At your request, or that of your social worker or personal adviser
  • If there are any significant changes your circumstances, including a change of accommodation
  • We must review the plan until you are 21 years old (and possibly up to your 25th birthday if we are supporting your education or training or supporting you with other things for a lengthy period)

Preparing for leaving care and your personal adviser

You will have a personal adviser as well as a social worker when you reach the age of 17. Your personal adviser will help you to develop skills and put into place the things in your life that will enable you to live independently in your own accommodation when you are ready.
The support will begin when you are still in care and you will be encouraged to develop skills in such things as cooking, budgeting, cleaning and looking after yourself before you are 16. Your personal adviser will provide you with support and advice on a range of things including:

  • Developing your independence skills (being able to look after yourself)
  • Access to training, education and employment opportunities
  • Finding and managing suitable accommodation at a time that’s right for you
  • Helping you to manage your money, so that you have enough to pay your bills and buy things for yourself. We will make sure you know what money you are entitled to such as benefits and bursaries and entitlements from Shropshire Council
  • Keeping in contact with family and friends
  • Help to find specialist support when you need it, including counselling and advice on issues such as drugs and alcohol and your sexual health

Keeping in touch

Your personal adviser will arrange to meet with you at a minimum of every eight weeks in your home to make sure that your accommodation is suitable. Accommodation will only be regarded as suitable if it is safe, secure and affordable.

We will also keep in touch through:

  • Emails
  • Telephone conversations
  • Text messages
  • Meeting you in the community or office appointments

There will be circumstances when visiting you at home every eight weeks is not right for you. We will discuss this with you to find the right balance. Any changes to the way we work with you or the way or frequency that we keep in touch will be clearly recorded in your
Pathway Plan and in your file.