How we support you in care

While you are in care, it is our responsibility to make sure that you are looked after properly and receive a good education. Professionals from education, care and health will work together to ensure that you feel supported and encouraged to achieve your full potential.

You will have:

  • A dedicated Social Worker as a first point of contact if you have any problems or questions
  • An Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who will check the quality of your care. They will also help you if you are unhappy about your care.
  • The Virtual School is there to ensure that you receive the same opportunities as all other young people when it comes to your education. They will monitor your progress and will support your school to ensure that you achieve your potential.
  • The support from a dedicated Children’s Rights team. They will make sure your rights are respected and that you are treated fairly.
  • A care plan, health plan and education plan created for you to make sure you grow up happy, healthy, safe and educated

Further information

What is a care plan?

A care plan describes how we will look after you and what needs to be done to help you grow up happy, healthy and safe. You will be involved in making this plan.

Your care plan includes:

  • Where you are going to live
  • How you will keep in touch with your family
  • How long you will remain in care
  • Your education and health
  • What you like doing in your free time
  • Your thoughts, feelings and views

This plan is reviewed twice a year to see if anything needs changing. It is your social worker’s job to make sure that you get all the things agreed in the plan.

Find out about the educational support you can receive on the Virtual School pages.

What is a health plan?

This is an initial plan which will be completed by your doctor, along with your carers. It will say what needs to happen to keep you healthy.

Reviews will then be carried out by a nurse and you will be given a copy of the plan. Your health plan will also be reviewed twice a year along with your care plan.

Our pledge to children in care and care leavers

Our pledge to young people in care and care leavers was set up in conjunction with the Children in Care Council.

The pledge is our promise to make sure you are as well cared for as any other child or young person. We will show the same commitment to making sure you are happy and well as we would for our own children at home, and we will continue to help you as you grow into young adulthood.

Each section of the pledge has a person allocated to making sure it is met and we will continually make sure that progress is being made. You can use the pledge as a checklist to record any promises you feel are not being kept, and share this with your Reviewing Officer, Social Worker or Personal Adviser. Being in care should not mean missing out.

We pledge to:

We will have achieved this when:

  • You have the right support for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and you do not have to wait too long for it
  • The adults close to you understand your needs
  • You have a good understanding of your health needs and history, when you are in care and when you leave care

We will have achieved this when: 

  • You are living with people who understand you, care for you well and build a positive relationship with you
  • You have a safe and stable home life
  • Where you are living does not affect how well you are looked after

​We will have achieved this when:

  • You have regular contact with those who are important to you, as long as it’s safe
  • You understand why you are in care and are involved with the plans that affect your life
  • We are warm and courteous towards you, do what we say we will, and respect your culture and identity
  • You have enough quality time with the adults (social worker, personal adviser, teacher, doctor, nurse) who are there to support you, at a time that is convenient to you
  • Changes of social worker or personal adviser are avoided wherever possible. Any changes are explained to you and you are introduced to the new person properly

​We will have achieved this when: 

  • You are achieving the best you can
  • You have a stable school where you feel safe
  • You feel part of your school community and able to take part in clubs and activities
  • You have adults who understand your needs and put the right things in place to support you

We will have achieved this when: 

  • As you become independent, you have a suitable place to live which feels like a proper home
  • You are in education, employment or training, helping you reach your potential
  • You are helped to manage your money effectively and get the right benefits
  • You have access to leisure services and can get around easily 

​We will have achieved this when:

  • We celebrate your successes
  • We actively seek and take account of your views, wishes and feelings to improve our services to you
  • You can access useful and accurate information about services available and the people who can support you
  • You feel able to share complaints compliments and comments about our services
  • There is a range of opportunities for you to get involved to with helping to improve all services to children and young people

Principles of Corporate Parenting

Through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, the Government set out 7 corporate parenting principles that we and all local authorities must follow when working with children in care and those leaving care. 'Corporate Parent' means an organisation that has special responsibilities to children in care, making sure they are as safe and well cared for as any other child. The principles are:

  • To act in the best interests, and promote the physical and mental health and well-being, of those children and young people.
  • To encourage those children and young people to express their views, wishes and feelings.
  • To take into account of the views, wishes and feelings of those children and young people.
  • To help those children and young people gain access to, and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and its relevant partners.
  • To promote high aspirations, and seek to secure the best outcomes, for those children and young people.
  • For those children and young people to be safe, and for stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work.
  • To prepare those children and young people for adulthood and independent living.

What makes a good Social Worker or Personal Adviser?

Our Children in Care and Care Leavers Councils have developed posters showing what they think makes a good Social Worker and Personal Adviser. These striking posters powerfully show, in their own words, what matters to the children and young people in our care and those making the journey to independence. They have been shared with staff and form part of our induction process.

Other support for you

Advocates - An advocate is like a messenger who speaks for you on your behalf and will support you if you make a complaint.

Independent Visitors - An independent visitor is a volunteer who will spend time with just you on regular basis. They are someone that you can talk to, get along with and ask for advice.

Shooting Stars - Shooting Stars are a group of young people with additional needs who represent other young people in Northamptonshire.

Children in Care Council - A chance for you to have a say about things that really matter and affect your life. Whether you live with a foster carer, in a children’s home or have recently left care, your ideas can make a big difference.

Please contact Children's Rights using the online form below to request an advocate, independent visitor or to find out more about Shooting Stars or the Children in Care Council.

Contact Children's Rights

What happens if you cannot contact your social worker?

If you are unable to get in touch with or get an answer from your social worker or key worker, you can also contact:

Have your say

If you want to make a comment, compliment or complaint about the support you have received, you can complete the online form below.

Have your say