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Your Rights

What we have to do

As your corporate parent, by law, we must provide you with:

  • a Personal Adviser
  • a Pathway Plan
  • the right to be heard and taken seriously - including being involved in decisions, having an independent advocate and being able to make comments or complain.

You can choose to leave care before you turn 18, but we do not encourage this because you will lose some of the benefits you are entitled to while you are in care.

The Director of Children’s Services must agree to allow a 16 or 17 year old to leave care.

If you do choose to leave care before you are 18, we’ll make sure that you find somewhere suitable to live and help to make sure your needs are being met in terms of your education, training or employment, as set out in your Pathway Plan.

The Personal Adviser that supports you from 16 to 20 years will chat with you about whether you need to be supported after you turn 21.

If you do want a Personal Adviser to support you after you turn 21, your Pathway Plan will be reviewed and updated. Support will continue for as long as you want up until the age of 25.

We know things can change, if you decide you do want a Personal Adviser again, even if you said you didn’t in the past, you can contact the Care Experienced Service and we will support you again up until the age of 25.

Care Records

If you are in care or you are being supported by us at the moment, and you have questions about your past and/or want to look at your records, your Social Worker or Personal Adviser can help you.

If you don’t have a worker at the moment, you can still ask to see your records.

You’ll need to have the following documents ready to upload:

  • proof of I.D
  • proof of your current address

If you are requesting records on behalf of a someone else you will also need to provide proof of your identity and evidence of your authority to act as an agent for the person who would like to see their care records.

In most cases you’ll be allowed to see your childhood case files from when you were in care. There are many reasons why people want to see their records; such as curiosity, wanting to trace family members, or looking for medical information about hereditary illnesses. You don’t have to give a reason why you want to see them, although you may be asked for one.

When you ask to see your care records, we will:

  • deal with your request under the Data Protection Act 1998 and give you the information within 30 calendar days. Sometimes if there are a lot of files, we may need up to 3 months to get it ready. If this is the case we’ll let you know how long it will take and why it’s going to take longer than 30 days.
  • respond promptly and arrange for a support worker to help you read through your files if you need one. For example, if you can not read very well or if you are worried about how you will feel when you read sensitive information about your childhood.
  • tell you if we know that any files are missing or no longer in existence. Since the Children’s Act 1989 we have had to keep records for longer (75 years for foster care cases and 100 years for adoption cases) but the record keeping before this was not as consistent, so if you request files from before 1989, we may not always have them.

‘redact’ (meaning cover up) any personal information in your files, that is about somebody other

Last Updated on Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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