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When you come into care your social worker will try to make sure you can stay in the same school which may mean going to school in a taxi. If you are living a long way from your school and are going to stay in care it may mean you change to a school closer to where you are living.
You may want to discuss with your social worker what information the school has about why you are in care. This may be very little at first.
You may also want to discuss what you tell people at school initially about being in care and who your carers are. Some young people have a cover story that their carers and school are aware of to tell people until they feel able to confide or tell people they trust.
While you are in our care:
- You will have a PERSONAL EDUCATION PLAN which you may call a PEP.
- Even if you move to live in a placement away from your family home your social worker should try and make sure you stay at the same school. If you have to change school your social worker must find you a new school place within 4 weeks
- There should be a named teacher/Designated Teacher who supports all children who are in care at your school. This teacher can help you if you need help with your school work
- You will also have a worker from the LACES Team who will make sure that your school and your social worker are supporting you to do the best you can do at school.
- Your school should keep a note of what happens in your education, what you are doing well and what they can do to support you.
The LACES team members are:
Jean Brueton 0121 704 8657
Lisa Cameron 0121 704 8658
Kate Keen 0121 704 8612
Alan Schofield 0121 704 8616
Bernice Sweeney 0121 704 8669
Joanne Taylor 0121 704 8688
Dorothy Wain manages the LACES Team and is Head of the Virtual School (0121 704 8622).
You should get time and space within your placement to do your homework. If you can’t find somewhere to work quietly, or you do not have the right equipment tell your carer / social worker.
There are various websites that you may find useful:
You can do work experience:
- as part of a one or two week one off block placement.
- for a day a week over a set period of time.
- for a number of weeks/months.
You can do work experience anywhere where the company or organisation is happy to support you. You can approach companies directly but may want to get some advice or support from your carer or social worker/PA.
As well as having a plan there will be a specific teacher – who may be called the designated teacher in your school who has responsibility for young people in care and is there to support you with any issues you may have about being in care and your education. Ask your teacher or social worker to find out who this is.
If things get difficult at school someone from the LACES Team can visit you in school to help you sort out any problems and make sure your feelings are known to the school. They can also give you further advice about your education but only if YOU want it!
Either your carer or social worker must go with you to parents evenings to find out how you are getting on, what you are good at and what you may need extra help with.
As you get older, people at school and home will try and support you prepare you to achieve what you want out of life. You may have lots of questions about what you want to do in the future. These are important big questions. Children’s Services – and others – want to support you so you achieve these goals and ambitions.
So how will they do that?
If you want to go on to university then Children’s Social Services will provide financial support.
Here are websites that will give you more information about the choices you have
- National Careers Service – The National Careers Service website provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding
- UCAS – UCAS Progress allows young people aged 13-17 years to search for courses across England and Wales
- Need2Know – Provides information on all sorts of issues that may affect you.
- NNECL – National Network for the Education of Care Leavers supports young people in care to go to University and Higher Education
It’s YOUR life and YOUR future
The question “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” doesn’t just mean “What job do you want to do?”
It also includes your personal journey through life including
- Where are you going to live??
- Do you want to travel??
- What do you want to achieve??
- What skills can you develop??
- Can you help other people??
Around the time of your 16th birthday your social worker will support you with what you want to achieve out of life and will help you prepare for independent living. They will work with you to build your personal Pathway Plan. (This replaces your care plan and plots out how you move from being a young person in care to an independent adult with the ability to manage living in the big wide world!). Your worker will support you until you are 21, or 25 if you continue in education or training.