What it's about

Under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, we have a duty to:

  • help care leavers until they're 25 years old, even if they're not in education
  • produce a local offer, explaining what help is available

Essex supports the seven corporate parenting principles of the Children and Social Work Act 2017:

  • to act in your best interest and promote your physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • to encourage you to express your views, wishes and feelings
  • to consider your views, wishes and feelings
  • to help you gain access to and make the best use of services in the community
  • to promote high aspirations and seek to secure the best outcomes for you
  • to ensure you are safe, and have stability in your home, life, relationships and education or work
  • to prepare you for adulthood and independent living

Who the offer is for

To get the support set out in this offer, you must have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after age 14 and included some time after your 16th birthday.

If you have been in care and have received a service from the Children with Disabilities team or the Young Person with Disabilities team you will continue to receive leaving and after care support from those teams. Visit the SEND Local Offer website for more information and contacts.

If you’re not sure whether the offer applies to you, or if there is anything else that you don't understand, please speak to your social worker or personal adviser.

Your personal adviser

You will be allocated a personal adviser, who will work alongside your social worker to help you make the transition to independent living.

Your personal adviser will continue working with you until you turn 21, or up to the age of 25 if you wish.

Pathway Plans

A pathway plan is a document that you will complete with your social worker or personal adviser.

The areas it covers is accommodation, education, training and employment, your safety, finance, health, identity, and family/social networks. It will set out your needs, your views, any future goals and what support you'll receive.

We'll consider with you what extra support you may need depending on your personal circumstances, if for example you are:

  • at university
  • on an apprenticeship
  • a young parent
  • leaving custody
  • separated migrant young person
  • have special educational needs

Although your looked after child reviews will end when you turn 18, we will still offer you a pathway plan review by your Independent Reviewing Officer after your 18th birthday to support your transition into independence.

Have your say

You have a right to be involved in all decisions about your plans for leaving care.

You have a right to have your say if you are not happy about something. We will listen to you, and tell you what you can do.

Tell someone who works closely with you, such as:

  • social worker, personal adviser or their team manager
  • foster carer or supervising social worker
  • teacher or someone at school
  • residential care worker

You have a right to be supported by an independent advocate if you want to challenge decisions about the support we give you. Independent advocates can inform you about your rights and help you to be heard. You can access advocacy at Rethink Essex, or call them on 0300 790 0559.

If you feel you can't talk to someone who works with you, please contact: ECC.CustomerServices@essex.gov.uk