The Children Act 1989 places duties on all Local Authorities to ensure that all eligible, relevant and former relevant children should have a Pathway Plan, which should set out the support that will be provided to the care leaver once they have left care. This must be based on the Needs Assessment carried out. The Plan should be prepared before the young person leaves care.
What does this mean?
A Pathway Plan sets out the arrangements that should be put in place to meet your current and predicted needs. Your Pathway Plan will be started by your social worker when you turn 16. This will be reviewed with your care plan twice a year. When you turn 18, your personal adviser will take over the duties in managing this for you.
You should be a part of the process of writing it and should always receive a copy of your Pathway Plan. It should be written in language that you understand and you can ask for changes to be made to your plan if you don’t understand it.
The Pathway Plan should identify support needs and agree actions to be taken to meet your needs. Some of these actions will be for you to complete and some will be for your Social Worker, Personal Advisor, key worker or family members.
The Pathway Plan should outline your rights and entitlements as a young person in care/leaving care. You might find it a long document, but that is because it needs to cover certain topics including: a short explanation of why you entered care, who you are and your identity, who has your important documents and a little about your family and friends. It also needs to cover how your needs will be met in relation to education, employment and training, health, managing and living independently and where you live and will live in the future. It should also document support with budgeting and your financial entitlements and agreed actions to be taken. Pathway Plans should always show evidence of your input. Your Pathway Plan will have the following 8 ‘domains’:
- Where I Live
- Daily Living Skills
- Family, Friends and Relationships
- How I feel and behave
- Education, Training and Employment
Your Pathway Plan needs to be updated at least every six months and a manager from the Leaving Care Team will read and agree to the plan.
In April 2017, the Children and Social Work Act became law and the provision for care leavers has been extended to include all young people up to the age of 25 including those who are not in education. This means that KCC now has a duty to support you as a care leaver up to aged 25 and the level of support will depend on your individual needs. A lighter touch pathway plan record may be created to capture your needs and plan post 21.
To find out more about Pathway Planning, look at the documents below.
Pathway Planning – Young Person’s Version
Pathway Planning Information from Become
If you are under 18 and would like to know more about your Care Plan and Child in Care Review Meetings, please click here.