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Our services

23 January 2019

The County Council offers advice and support to young people leaving care up to the age of 25.

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.

The Local Authority provide a Local offer for Care Leavers which details the support available to you.

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 – Maggie Bragg
  • West: Situated in Goodman House, Harlow. Team 1 – Fleur Nichols. Team 2 – vacant
  • South: Situated in Ely House, Basildon – Gemma Hammond

You can also telephone your nearest social care office and they will put you in touch with the team that covers your area.

Turning 18

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.

Turning 21

When you reach the age of 21 you can choose to continue with a Personal Advisor to offer you support or you can come back to us for support at any time up to your 25th Birthday.


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. We will continue to support you until you complete the course, or until you are 25.