Assessing Your Needs
A few months before your 16th birthday your social worker will arrange to meet with you to go through the various options you might want to consider for when you leave care. They will also discuss with you what you will need to help you to make a success to move on from care. This is called a Pathway Plan Needs Assessment.
The Needs Assessment will also help you to look at how prepared you are for independent living and will highlight any actions that need to be taken for this.
The basic areas covered in the assessment are:
Health and Development
This section looks at how prepared you are to live independently.
Education, Training and Employment
This section looks at your school career and any plans that you may have for the future.
Family and Social Relationships
This section looks at your family relationships and your friendships.
Needs for Care, Support and Accommodation
This section looks at all aspects of accommodation.
This section looks at your income and budgeting.
At this time you will also be allocated a Leaving Care Personal Advisor who will support you when you are ready to leave care and will complete a Pathway Plan with you. They will also keep in touch with you regularly and review your Pathway Plan with you every 6 months until you are age 21yrs (or 25yrs if you are still in education)
We want you to be as prepared as possible when you leave care. One of the ways we can do this is by helping you to develop a Pathway Plan.
The plan will look at what support you will need to live independently, when you are ready to make that step. It will be much more detailed than your care plan and will include things like where you will live, any education or training you might want, job options, your money as well as any health, lifestyle, relationship, family or other support you might need. This includes any specific support you may need if you have a disability or particular lifestyle need. Your pathway plan will also outline any actions that need to be taken and who will be responsible for making them happen. You will be given a copy of your pathway plan so that you can keep track of everything that has been agreed.
The pathway planning starts, a few months before your 16th birthday, with a meeting with your social worker where you will discuss what you want and what is best for you – this is called a Needs Assessment.
You will also be allocated a Leaving Care Personal Advisor who will support you when you are ready to leave care and will review your pathway plan with you every 6 months. They will also keep in regular contact with you and will be there to support you with any questions or problems you may have.
It is important that you get involved in your pathway plan as it is about your future.
You can always talk to your social worker or personal advisor who will be able to answer any questions, concerns or worries you have about leaving care.