What does that mean?

What does that mean?

If you don’t understand a word someone has used you can find out what it means here.



This means that you are looked after away from home – but that your parents have agreed to it. You may also hear people talking about ‘section 20′. This is the section of the Children Act that deals with accommodating children and young people away from home.


This is somebody whose job it is to make sure you’re part of decisions being made for you and that you have a say about what is going on for you. An advocate can help you with meetings, make a complaint for you or just sort out something out that’s important to you. They don’t have their own opinions and won’t give you advice; they’ll just help you to say what you think and feel.


It means doing what is best for you to keep you safe, happy and healthy. Your views are important but sometimes you might disagree with your social worker about what is in your best interest. Your social worker should always be working towards your best interests, and they are very important to the court when they are making decisions about you.


This is a young person who is about to leave care, or an adult who has left care. You officially leave care when you’re 18 and become an adult, but care leavers are counted from the age of 16. Somerset County Council has to know what’s happening to care leavers and provide support.
This is the big document that your social worker writes which tells all the other people involved exactly what’s best for you, and the way that other people should be helping you. You should have a copy of your care plan and read it; it will help you know what’s being put in place for you.
When a court has decided that the Local Authority should make the important decisions in your life like where you live or go to school.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. CAMHS provide a specialist mental health service for children and young people aged 0-18 (up to 19 for young people with additional needs), who may be experiencing a range of mental health problems. You can find out more about CAHMS by visiting their website.
The Children Act 1989 is the most important law about children who are looked after by local authorities in England and Wales. It describes in a lot of detail what local authorities must do when they plan and review the care of young people they look after.
The name given to all children that the local authority has some sort of responsibility for. It includes all children who are accommodated or who are on a care plan.
Is the meeting which takes place that includes you and is chaired by your Independent Safeguarding and Reviewing Officer. It is where your care plan is reviewed to make sure all your needs are being met and that you are happy. Often this name of this meeting is shortened to Review.
Only the people, who need to know, should know. Information and you and your life is confidential and shouldn’t be known by everyone. You might have confidential workers such as therapist, who won’t tell anyone what you have said, unless a crime has been committed or they think you or someone else could be at risk of harm.
This is when people are asked their opinion formally. SiCC & SLCC are the main consultation groups for young people in Somerset who are in care or who have left care. They are asked what they think about a lot of things. You have the right to be consulted on anything that affects your life.
Contact means seeing people you are related to or know very well. Most young people want to see their mums, dads, brothers and sisters whenever they can, and it is up to your social worker to arrange how often you have contact and who you have contact with. There may be some people that you are not allowed contact with. Contact can be supervised, which means that a social worker may go with you, or that the contact takes place in a centre where there are staff around. Or contact may be unsupervised, which means that you will be dropped off and picked up at a set time. You can ask your social worker for more contact if you miss people, but sometimes your social worker may decide this is not in your best interests.
If you are a child looked after or a care leaver, the local authority (Somerset County Council) acts in place of your parents. This is not one person but the whole of the local authority. A corporate parent is everyone who works with and for children looked after and care leavers. When making decisions and working in the interests of children looked after a corporate parent should always consider, would this be good enough for my own child?


This is someone at school who has the job of making sure that all looked after children in the school are doing okay. If you are not sure who the designated teacher is at your school, then you could ask your form tutor or get in touch with the ‘Virtual School’.


This stands for the Emergency Duty Team. Most social workers work between 9am and 5pm but there is a small group of social workers who are on call in case things happen outside these times. If there is a problem late at night or at weekends, you might need to contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0300 123 2327.


This is where a trained carer is paid and supported to look after a child or children who cannot live at home, in their own home.




This is the person who checks to see if your social worker is doing what they said they were going to do, they can ask for changes to be made to your plan and will make sure you know what is happening, they will also chair your review meetings.




This is the person who will be your main contact when you are 18 and over, they will be your ‘personal advisor ‘throughout your journey to independence they will make sure that you have all the support and advice you need on things like housing, money, health and wellbeing to ensure you’re ready to live independently. They will also be responsible for your Pathway Plan until you are 21 (or older if you are in education or training).
Your local authority is Somerset County Council; it can mean the whole council or just one part of it. Somerset County Council are responsible for the area of Somerset and they look after many things, such as, roads, museums, libraries, education and the care of adults and children.





Parental responsibility is the right and power of a parent to make decisions about their child. If you are on a full care order, your social worker will make decisions for you.  If you have been accommodated, your parents still have the right to make decisions about your life. PR can be quite complicated and confusing.  For more information go to the Who Cares? Trust website.
Is a bit like your care plan but it looks at how we can support your journey into independence. Its says who will help you and how they will help you.
Personal Education Plan is a plan about your education and the help you will receive to do well. Your PEP is part of your care plan.
is the person who takes over your care planning  and completes your pathway plan reviews when you’re over 16 or leaving care.  This can be your leaving care worker or another significant adult i.e. foster carer.




is to protect from harm or damage and to promote the well being of adults and children
is an order made by the Family Court that places a child or young person to live with someone other than their parent(s) on a long-term basis. The person(s) with whom a child is placed will become the child’s Special Guardian




The virtual school is not a real school with buildings and classrooms they are a group of people who make sure your school/ college understands the issues that might affect your education and keep track of how you, and all children in care, are doing. They’ll also be responsible for your Personal Education Plan (PEP), which should help you fulfil your potential.






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