Leaving Care Service
The Leaving Care Service (LCS) provides services in partnership with key agencies to young people being looked after by the council, or who were looked after by Tower Hamlets before moving towards independence. The LCS provides practical, social and emotional support for young people; guiding them through education and job choices, helping them to find the right accommodation and providing advice on day to day living experiences.
This support was previously only available to care leavers until the age of 21. Now there is an option for any young person who has had a service from the LCS to get back in touch with the team to request further support. This is available at any point until the age of 25.
For more information about the service, please talk to your carers, family, social worker, leaving care personal adviser or call the LCS duty number: 020 7364 1140.
What can the LCS do for me?
LCS is there to help you plan for your future and to support you in your transition to independence. We will help you identify where you will live and what you plan to do over the next few years. Once you have made those decisions, LCS will support you in achieving your goals and ambitions.
How do we do that?
All young people supported by the LCS have a:
Personal Adviser (PA)
A Personal Adviser will be allocated as your leaving care worker to help and support you until you are 24 years old. The PA will attend your reviews and they will also help you to write your Pathway Plan (explained below) and will be responsible for making sure that you receive all that you are entitled to. They will also advocate on your behalf.
Needs Assessment & Pathway Plan until you are 24 years old
A Needs Assessment is used to help you identify your current skills and how to help you get to where you would like to be in the future. It outlines information such as where you would like to live, your educational achievements, your training or employment plans and any health issues you may have.
From this assessment, your Personal Adviser will help you to complete a Pathway Plan, with help from your carers, family etc. This is your plan and will map out how best to achieve your future hopes and dreams as you move towards independence. It is also reviewed every six months or when your circumstances change.
Your Personal Adviser can give you information and advice about different housing options: supported accommodation, shared accommodation, university accommodation and permanent independent accommodation.
Getting ready to live independently
The Pathway Plan will include the independent living skills that you need or want to develop, so that you are able to live well while you gain more independence. They LCS will work together will you to provide opportunities to learn new skills and to test out those that you have learned.
The LCS can help care leavers with:
- personal allowances
- travel and accommodation costs
- educational grants for books and equipment
- setting up home allowances
- holiday grants
- special needs grants
- emergency payments in times of crisis.
Where the LCS cannot provide financial assistance directly, they will help you to make an application to other organisations.
For more information please contact the LCS.
Education, Training or Employment
LCS Personal Advisers help you to achieve your education, training and employment plans. They will:
- offer support and advice about career choices, education, training, employment and work experience opportunities
- help to complete college, university, employment application forms
- support you to learn and develop new skills.
- assist you to get help with literacy, English, maths or other basic skills within college
- help you to choose a career or find a job and provide support with CV writing and interview skills
- provide advice about possible financial support for education and training.
Resource Centre – Kitcat Terrace
There is a resource centre at the LCS for young people, which is open daily to provide support, advice and access to IT equipment. More information about activities is on display at the centre or can be obtained from Personal Advisers. Activities are all from suggestions made by young people.
Some young people decide to take the opportunity to become User Involvement trainees in the service while they study for an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification). They take a lead role in organising a range of activities with other young people and LCS staff.
They are members of the Children in Care Council (a young people’s group). They support and encourage young people to become involved in activities including helping to train Foster Carers, contributing to consultation activities and participating in training to sit on interview panels.
Unhappy about Leaving Care services?
If you are unhappy about any of the services provided by the LCS, please try to speak to any of the following people about this:
- Social Worker
- Personal Adviser or their manager (020 7364 1140)
- The LCS Service Manager
- Children’s Rights Officer (0800 043 9553)
If you are not able to agree a way forward after discussing your concerns, there is a complaints procedure which we can support you to follow.