You can ask for support from the care leavers service, Onward and Upwards, up to the age of 25, whether you are in education or training or not.

Your PA is there to help you to prepare to live independently and to offer advice and support to you as you leave care. PAs get involved in discussions about your needs and your Pathway Plan and will help put into place the support you are entitled to at the earliest appropriate stage.

When you reach the age of 15 and a half a PA will begin working alongside your social worker and your carers to provide advice and assistance in helping you and them to begin building your Pathway Plan.

Your Pathway Plan will replace your care plan and should consider all the very important points in your journey to growing up and becoming an adult.

At your last Looked After Child Review before your 18th birthday, the role and expectation of your PA will be written in your Pathway Plan with you. Your PA will work closely with your social worker until you turn 18 at which time your PA will be responsible for supporting you.

The PA’s role is different to your social worker’s. They are there to provide advice and support to you in relation to work, housing and study. They will probably visit you less frequently than your social worker and generally your relationship will not be as formal.

The amount of support that you receive from your PA will depend on what you both agree you need and your circumstances. The care leavers service will consider with you what extra support you may need.

Getting advice from your Social Worker or Personal Adviser

Your PA will be in touch with you at least 6 times a year; or more often depending on your Pathway Plan until you are 21 years of age. You can also contact your PA at any point if you need advice and support. At 21 your Pathway Plan will be finalised and you will no longer have an allocated PA, but this can be flexible.

If you would like support after you are 21, you can ask for this from the Onwards and Upwards team. This support can continue up until your 25th birthday.

Your Pathway Plan

Your Pathway Plan is written with you in consultation with the important people in your life. It sets out your needs, views and future goals, and exactly what support you will receive from us. We review your Pathway Plan with you regularly so that it is kept up-to-date.

Things that your Pathway Plan will cover will include, work experience, subjects you may need to study if you want an apprenticeship, or to go to University and what job or career you want to pursue. It will also set out where you will live when you are over 18. This may be where you live prior to turning 18, but is not always, and therefore we need to plan this with you before your 18th birthday.

Your Pathway Plan is important as it will look at the things important to you in moving to independence, such as being ready to leave care, money management, looking after yourself, health, employment, education and training issues. Your Pathway Plan is your record of the support that we agreed to provide to you, and needs to be reviewed at least once every six months.

During your 20th year, you and your PA will decide what type of support you will need after your 21st birthday from Onwards & Upwards.

Drop ins

Onwards and Upwards is based at the Woodhouse Road Centre, which is open from Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.

The centre is open for you to drop in, whether you just want to socialise, use the computers, or speak to someone about an issue or query. There are a range of drop in sessions that take place at the centre, such as:

  • Welfare advice

  • Financial advice

  • Sexual health

  • Education, Employment and Training

  • Psychotherapy (Terapia)

For more information about drop in times and services, please speak to to the team at Onwards and Upwards.

Refugee and Migrant young people

If you are under 18, have nowhere to live in the UK and no parents to look after you, we will look after you and a worker from the Onwards and Upwards team will help you to get the support and advice you need. In the beginning we will find you somewhere safe to live and help with any urgent needs.

If you have family you can contact we will help you try and get in touch with them to let them know you are safe.

We will find you a solicitor and help you to make your claim for asylum. We still help you attend education and look after your health while you wait for your decision.

It is important that you talk to your PA about what is happening with your Immigration status before you turn 18, and if you do not understand, you must tell us.

Care Leavers who have immigration or asylum status from the Home Office will have lots of complicated forms and tasks to complete before they turn 18, and every few years after that. If things are not done on time, it can have a negative effect on your chances of staying in the UK.

We have access to interpreters to help us talk to each other and can have documents translated into your first language. We will help you with things such as getting some clothes, arranging some pocket money, accessing your faith and religious needs and communicating with the Home Office and your solicitor.

Your Rights

It is your right to feel safe, supported and be treated with dignity in the UK. If you feel unsafe or uncertain you can speak to you Social Worker or PA about your concerns.

  • You have a right to have an interpreter for meetings with the Home Office, doctor, dentist, social worker or solicitor if you need one.

  • You have the right to access support and entitlements under laws called the Children Act and Leaving Care Act.

  • You have a right to access education and positive activities.

  • It’s important that you have relevant information about your asylum claim.

  • You have the right to a Pathway Plan.

Support

There is a lot of support available to young people seeking asylum. If you wish to access any support you should speak to your carer, Social Worker or PA.

If you are waiting for a decision on your asylum claim to stay in the UK, we can support you to plan for three possible outcomes after reaching18 years. We will:

  • prepare you if you receive a form of leave to stay in the UK

  • prepare you to return to your country of origin if you are refused leave to remain in the UK at the end of the immigration consideration process, or decide to return yourself

  • prepare you for a period of uncertainty if you remain in the UK without permanent status