The Council’s promise to you, is also known as The Pledge.
SiCC & SLCC checked to see if the Council were keeping to their promise. A lot of you helped us by filling out on of our questionnaire. You can watch our video of the results below.
Involve you in all the decisions that affect your life, by asking what you want, listening to what you tell them, and taking action.
Do as much as they can to help and support you, but when they can’t do everything you want, they will ensure that they explain why
Give you a named Worker in Children’s Social Care, and their contact details. Your Worker will keep in touch with you on a regular basis and, if you leave a message for them, they will get back to you within one working day, or arrange for someone else to do so if they are out of the office.
When you first meet with your named Worker, they will give you their Manager’s contact details so that, if your named Worker is going to be away from the office for several days or more, you have someone you can contact who will know you.
Tell you about the care system and leaving care system you are part of and what happens and when it may happen. This will include what you are entitled to, e.g. pocket money, clothing allowances, access to computers, your rights, and general information about Somerset Children’s Social Care – Your Journey – Living Away from Home guide and the Leaving Care guide.
Find the best and safest place possible for you to live, depending on your views and needs, so you can live somewhere where you feel comfortable. They will do this by always considering who else is living at the same address before any placement is made, and whether or not you think the area is safe for you. This applies to both Children in Care and those young people making the transition to adulthood that will be moving on from care into more independent living.
They will train Foster Carers about how best to care for you and ensure they treat you fairly.
If you move address, they will try to keep you at the same school (if that’s what you want]
If you are living outside of Somerset, they will help you live your life as normally as possible and will work with you to help you keep in contact with the people who are important to you.
Help you stay in touch with your family, friends and all other people who are important to you. If you are not allowed to see someone, your Worker will tell you the reasons why and make sure you understand them. Depending on your age, this may involve talking through some of the legal reasons as to why you may not be allowed to stay in touch with certain members of your family or friends. They will make sure that they are as open and honest with you as possible and anything they discuss with you will be done in a sensitive way.
Involve you in producing a Care Plan that meets your needs and is updated whenever there are any significant changes. It will be reviewed every six months as a minimum. You will be given a copy of your own plan, plus any updates, as well as notes from the reviews.
Help you do the best you can in education, by ensuring you have an education placement that meets your needs. They will also arrange for you to have extra support if you need it.
Ensure you have access to a computer to help with school work.
Involve you in producing a Personal Education Plan (PEP) which will be part of your Care Plan. It will be updated regularly and a copy given to you. They will ensure that there is money available to pay for the things in your PEP
Encourage you to fulfil your potential outside education, by supporting you in your interests and hobbies. They will recognise all your successes and achievements and celebrate them with you, eg at the annual Children in Care Awards event.
Prepare you for, and support you in, finding a job, or going to college or university. The preparation will start before you leave school and you will receive advice about your future plans whilst at school.
Make sure you are as healthy as possible, by providing nutritious and tasty food and ensuring you get regular health and dental checkups. They will ensure that there is the option of you meeting with a male or female nurse for your health checks. They will also make sure that there is support available if you need someone to accompany you or act on your behalf in making your health and dental appointments.
Involve you in producing a Health Plan, which will be reviewed regularly and form part of your Care Plan, and copied to you.
Provide a named Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and give you their contact details. Your IRO will involve you fully in the reviews of your Care Plan – and the first two reviews of your Pathway Plan – and ask who you want to be there. They will also ensure that you are offered the opportunity to speak to an advocate, who can go with you to the reviews.
Hold the review meetings in a quiet and private setting where you feel comfortable, and make sure that tea, coffee and biscuits are available for everyone who attends
Throughout your time in care they will help you prepare for adult life for when you move on from care into more independent living (you will not have to do this before you are 18 years old unless you want to).
Work with you to produce a Pathway Plan which will set out your plans for the future and the support they will give you.
Stay in touch with you until you are at least 21 (or 24 if you are still in education).
Work hard to sort out any problems or concerns you have about any aspect of your life.
Give you information about how to complain if things go wrong and you don’t think they are doing what they should. All complaints will be taken seriously and worked through until they are resolved.
Somerset County Council’s Corporate Parenting Pledge
If you would a copy of this pledge, you can download it here.
Somersets Corporate Parenting Strategy….
This is the councils plan of how they will help you, other children looked after and care leavers.