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What are my Care Leavers Needs Assessment and Pathway Plan?

LO care leavers

As a Care Leaver, you will receive an assessment of the advice, assistance and support you will need when leaving care.

This Needs Assessment will be used to inform your Pathway Plan.

Your Pathway Plan will set out your goals and what the Local Authority can do to help you achieve them. The Pathway Plan repalces your Care Plan you had as a Looked After child.

Your Needs Assessment

All Care Leavers must receive a multi-agency assessment of their needs as to the advice, assistance and support they will need when leaving care.

Your assigned social worker will be responsible for coordinating this assessment and it should be completed no more than 3 months after your 16th birthday or after you become Eligible/Relevant, if later.

You should be invited to any meetings held in connection with the assessment.

The Needs Assessment will inform the development of your pathway plan.

Your Pathway Plan

All Care Leavers should have a Pathway Plan, which will set out the support that will be provided to them once they have left care. This must be based on the Needs Assessment carried out. The Plan should be prepared before the young person leaves care. Becoming independent is a gradual process and we will work with you and offer continued support, if you need it, until you are 25.

Your Pathway Plan is about your needs and what we all need to do to ensure your successful transition to adult life.

In Merton, all young people have a Pathway Plan in place within 3 months of becoming Eligible and, wherever possible, a Pathway Plan should be in place by the young person’s 16th birthday (by 16 years and three months i.e. after the Needs Assessment) It will replace your Care Plan.

The Pathway Plan should include:

  • the nature of and level of contact and personal support to be provided;
  • the young person’s health needs and how these should be met;
  • arrangements to support the young person in further education or employment;
  • arrangements to support the young person in sustaining and developing family relationships;
  • arrangements to ensure the young person is properly equipped for taking greater responsibility towards their independence;
  • an assessment of the young person’s financial needs and capacity and any financial assistance provided;
  • arrangements to ensure the young person is living in suitable accommodation; and any ‘Staying Put’ arrangements.

The Pathway Plan should set goals and include how and when these should be achieved. It should be reviewed when a young person requests this and/or their Personal Advisor thinks it is necessary or at least every 6 months.

How will I be involved?

Your Pathway Plan is about your needs and what we all need to do to ensure your successful transition to adult life. We aim to fully involve you in the development of your Pathway Plan, which should set out your goals and identify how we, as a local authority, can help you to meet them.

Who else will be involved?

With your agreement, we will seek the views of our partner agencies when completing your Pathway Plan. This may include Housing, Education, Training and Employment providers, Benefits, Health Services, and Youth Services to ensure we all work together to provide you with clear and consistent advice and support.

Your Personal Adviser is your main point of contact in any area relating to your Pathway Plan and should support you to deliver the actions in your Plan.

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