Who will support me?
When you are in care you will have a social worker who will visit you at least once every six weeks. They come and see you to make sure you are happy and healthy.
If you’re feeling unhappy with your social worker or the decisions being made you can speak to any of the adults who look after you or support you. They will listen to you and take action to make things better for you.
If it is in your best interests, an Independent Visitor may be chosen to visit you. Sometimes it might be a person you already know. This person is ‘independent’ because they do not work for Kent County Council. They visit you regularly to offer help and advice and take an interest in you and how you are feeling. They will sometimes take you out to do fun activities and can help you have say in decisions made about you. They will also telephone you or write to you.
An Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) is someone who will lead meetings which relate to your care. They will make sure that decisions which are made about your care are put into place.
They will meet with you before each Review Meeting to make sure you understand what is happening and give you an opportunity to say what you want to talk about. After the meeting, your IRO or your Social Worker will check that you understand any changes or decisions that have been made. The Review is your meeting and all about you, so it is very important that you make sure the IRO knows how you feel and what you would want to happen.
When you are looked after by Kent County Council you may live with foster carers who will care for you and will be there if you feel bad about something.
A Looked After Children's Nurse will give you a check-up to make sure you are fit and healthy. They know all about health and wellbeing and can give you lots of tips. They are another person you can trust and share things with.
An advocate is someone who you can talk to about your thoughts and feelings when you find it hard to share them with other people. They can talk for you at meetings or to other people who care for you if you want them to. They can be helpful if you have something to say but are finding it difficult to share.
The VSK Participation Team help children in care to say how they feel about their care. They also organise activity days during the school holidays for you to come along to and run Kent’s Children in Care Councils – The Super Council for 7 to 11s, and the ‘Our Children and Young People’s Council’ for 11 to 16 years olds.
Your designated teacher is someone at your school who understands the things children in care might need. They are there to help you do well at school. If you are feeling bad at school you can speak to your designated teacher who will understand and help you.