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
  • An appointed Achievement Officer from the Virtual School to make sure 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

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.

What is the Virtual School? 

It is the responsibility of the Virtual School to make sure everyone in care, who is in school, is achieving their best. Every child in Northamptonshire is appointed an Achievement Officer from the Virtual School, who regularly reviews their progress, reads their Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and may also attend their PEP meetings. You may not meet your Achievement Officer, but they are looking out for you from behind the scenes. They will speak to your school if you should be doing better and try to find ways to support you, so that you can achieve your full potential.

What is a Personal Education Plan (PEP)?

Your PEP is an important document which looks at the progress you made last term, where you are now and your future targets. Meetings will be held to discuss how to support you so that you can get the best out of your education.

Before your PEP meeting, your school will complete some sections ready to be discussed at the meeting and you will be asked for your input too.

Other people who will attend the PEP meeting may include your Designated Teacher (DT), your parents, your carers, your social worker, your Achievement Officer from the Virtual School and your Independent Reviewing Officer.

You can also attend the meetings if you would like to. We want to make sure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities, so that you can do whatever you want to do as a career when you leave school.

Pupil Premium Plus (PP+)

If it is decided that you need extra support; for example extra lessons, then a Pupil Premium Plus Grant (PP+) is available to your school to help fund this.

The Virtual School organises a variety of 8 week courses for children of all ages in care. Whatever your interests, it is worth checking out if there is a course for you: drama, sports, media, maths …

Transport is supplied and paid for, so you don’t even have to worry about how you’ll get there! - find out more

If you are interested in this, make sure you mention it at your next PEP meeting.

Further and higher education

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.

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 Rights

Corporate Parenting Strategy

The Corporate Parenting Strategy sets out the county’s commitment to support children in care and care leavers. Children and young people were asked to give their views and help shape the strategy.
It has five main objectives:

  • To ensure children and young people enjoy good health and wellbeing
  • To support care leavers in gaining employment and/or training opportunities
  • To ensure children and young people placed out of the county are not disadvantaged
  • To commit to do everything possible to help children and young people fulfil their educational potential
  • To support children and young people to have positive, meaningful relationships in their lives  
  •  Corporate Parenting Strategy 2017 to 2018 (PDF 780KB)

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

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