Who are Personal Advisors for Care Experienced Young People?
A Personal Advisor (PA) acts as a focal point to make sure that a young person leaving care gets the right support as they move into adulthood.
Your Personal Advisor will assist you to develop skills that will help you to live independently at time when you are ready to do so.
When will I get a Personal Advisor
You will be appointed a Personal Advisor at the age of 16 (if under 18), to support you to prepare for independence and until you stop receiving services from the Local Authority, this could be up to the age of 25
Who can be a Personal Advisor?
There are lots of different people who could be a Personal Adviser. It could be that the Local Authority employs a team of people specially to do this job.
There is no prescribed professional qualification required of a PA, but they should have a working knowledge of the issues a Care Experienced Young Person might face as they make their transition into adulthood and the legal framework around this.
Can I choose my Personal Advisor ?
The Local Authority will allocate you a Personal Advisor based on a number of factors, including who they feel would be the best match, who has the skills to meet your individual needs, and also the number of other young people a Personal Advisor is already supporting.
If you are coming up to the age of 16 and already know some of our Personal Advisors, and have a preference, you should let your Social Worker know. Similarly if you have a preference around certain attributes or specifics you would like in your Personal Advisor, you should also voice these to your Social Worker for consideration. Your wishes will always be carefully considered; however, the final decision will be made by the Local Authority.
Whilst we will always first look to resolve any relationship issues between young people and their Personal Advisor, if resolution cannot be found and it is thought to be in your best interest, we will look to change your Personal Advisor based on your wishes.
What does a Personal Advisor do?
A Personal Advisor’s role is to:
- provide advice (including practical advice) and support to the young person;
- participate in reviews of the young person’s case;
- liaise with the responsible authority in the implementation of the pathway plan;
- co-ordinate the provision of services and take reasonable steps to ensure the young person makes use of such services;
- remain informed about the young person’s progress and wellbeing;
- keep full, accurate and up to date records of contacts with the young person and services provided;
- provide information about financial capability - how to manage day to day finances;
- provide housing options available to the care leaver;
- support in finding further education, employment or training;
- keep in touch with the young person
How do I contact my Personal Advisor?
Your PA will provide you with telephone and email contact details or you can visit them at the Merton Civic Centre in Morden.
If you cannot get through to your PA or if they are on leave, you can contact the Merton Council Children in Care and Care Experienced Young Person duty number on 020 8545 4293
What are the legal requirements for Personal Advisors?
Section 3 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 requires Local Authorities to provide Personal Advisors to care leavers up until they reach the age of 25.
You can read Statutory guidance on this