Leaving Care Services
The County Council offers advice and support to young people leaving care up to the age of 21. This ensures that those entering adulthood and leaving care are not isolated and can participate socially and economically. We are also financially responsible for care leavers aged 16-17 years as they cannot claim benefits.
How it works
A plan is drawn up with an allocated Personal Adviser and young person about the assistance they need in various areas of their lives. This includes finding suitable accommodation, education, employment and training, health, finance and personal and independence skills.
There are 4 Leaving and Aftercare Teams across Essex. They offer a service to the whole of the County and work from Colchester, Chelmsford, Harlow and Rochford.
North Situated in Stanwell House, Colchester – Team 1 – Lizelle Steenkamp – Team 2 – Annabelle Woollard
Mid Situated in County Hall, Chelmsford – Team 1 – Paula Ash – Team 2 – Belinda Beukes
West Situated in Goodman House, Harlow – Team 1 – Fleur Nichols – Team 2 – Melissa Jiggins
South Situated in Ely House, Basildon – Katharine Fletcher
You can also telephone your nearest social care office and they will put you in touch with the team that covers your area.
When you are 18, you will be able to claim benefits in the normal way, but if you are working part time or on a low wage, we will continue to help you. The Leaving and Aftercare Service will continue to help and support you until you are 21 and the plan for you (called your Pathway Plan) will be reviewed regularly to ensure that your needs are being met.
We will encourage you if you decide to go to college or university and will offer support throughout your course. If you go to university, we will ensure that you have accommodation during the holidays. If you are still in full time education when you are 21, we will continue to support you until you complete the course, or until you are 24.