The Care Leaver Offer
Last modified 15/08/2023 10:55:47
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 outlined that all local authorities have to consult with and publish a local offer for care leavers. The Act said that the local offer should provide information about all the services and support that is available to care leavers from the local authority, including information about both their statutory entitlements as well as any discretionary support that a local authority chooses to provide.
This page outlines the offer in Blackpool for you.
HAVE A VOICE IN MEETINGS
You have the right to be involved in all the decisions that will affect your life and this includes having a voice in meetings. Your PA will support you to attend meetings and support you to have a voice in those meetings.
You have the right to be involved in all the decisions that are made about you and your plans for leaving care. We know that sometimes you don't feel comfortable to talk in settings where decisions are being made about your future. This is where an Advocate can help you. They are independent, which means that they are there for your and not linked to Blackpool Council.
AN ADVOCATE IS...
An adult who will help you to get your wishes, opinions and views heard and listened to. They are also a person who can help you to raise any concerns about your care and the plans for your future, to the professionals working with you.
Freephone Number: 0300 323 0251
Speak to your PA and ask for the 'Other Support we Offer' booklet for information
You have a voice and we want you to use it!!
There are lots of ways that you can have your say about your experiences and what you want for the future. If you are aged between 12 and 18 you can join Justuz where you can have your say on how services for you are run.
Telephone: 01253 477536
If you are over the age of 18 we are keen to make sure your voice is heard. You can do this through your Personal Advisor or you can join the Care Leavers Forum, Justuz Extra. The Care Leavers forum is a group of care experienced young people aged between 18 and 25 who meet on a regular basis to talk about the services that support them. They work together to improve the services for Care Leavers and have a central role at the Corporate Parenting Panel. It is a really good way to have your voice heard, meet new people and work together to shape the services that are there to help and support your, for example - what is on at The CORE and where we go for Christmas lunch!
You can give your views on services for Care Leavers to the people who make decisions about young people in Blackpool.
Justuz meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month
Justuz Extra meets on the 2nd Monday of every month
Both groups meet at The CORE
Check out the Justuz page for more information
Having a Voice through elections
From the age of 18 you will have the right to vote and will need to register to be able to do this. Being able to vote means that you can have a say in what is happening in Blackpool but also what is happening across the country. To register follow this link
Registering to vote also means that it makes it easier to do other things like applying for housing, or a bank account.
Accessing your Social Care Records
You have the right to access your records held by Children's Service's. Reading your records may be a positive experience, however, there may be information that you could find upsetting. Talk this through with your PA and others who support you. Your PA will offer you support if you want this when reading your records.
For more information on your rights when accessing your records
Compliments and Complaints
You have the right to complain if you are not happy with the service you have received from Blackpool Council. You also have the right to tell us where you have had a positive experience.
Find out how to feedback
Want to know more about your rights as a Care Leaver
You are at the centre of everything that we do and we want to make sure that you feel safe, happy and cared for. To do this we will make sure that we always treat you with care and respect. There are a range of wants that we will strive to achieve this:
- When we write about you, we will make sure we are writing in a way that you understand.
- Listen to your views and opinions about your future and make sure you are included in your plans.
- Be aspirational for you and your plans for the future.
- Celebrate your successes.
- You will be supported to move home with dignity, care and respect.
- You can access the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who offer advice, help and support with things like emotional wellbeing and legal advice - Your PA will tell you about the APP and how you can contact them.
We also know that there may be times when young people identify as a gender different to the one they were born with, or identify by a different first name or surname to the one they were given at birth. We will respect your wishes and pay for you to have your name legally changed by deed poll when you are 18 if this is something that is important to you and how you identify.
We will always check which pronouns you would like us to use when talking about you
We have worked together to create a space just for you called The CORE. The CORE officially opened in January 2016, and was created because you told us it was what was needed. You told us that you needed somewhere that you could meet up with PAs, in a place that we easy to get to, where you would be able to have a brew and make something to eat, do your washing, make personal phone calls, have a shower and most importantly be provided with a place where you can speak to someone in private about your problems and get the right support and advice. Over time the CORE has become a community of care experienced young people who offer each other help, advice and guidance.
The CORE is open every Monday between 11.00am and 7.00pm and includes:
- Clothes swap shop
- Cook and eat sessions
- Advice and Guidance
We know that relationships are important to you and we want to make sure that when you leave our care you have stable, trusting relationships with the people that support you, but also with those people who are important to you. We want to help you have a group of people that you can turn to if you need help but also people you can tell that you are doing well and celebrate your successes with.
If you want to see your family then we will support you to do this in a way that is safe for you.
There are lots of ways that we can do this, which includes Life Long Links and Family Time.
Life Long Links
The aim of Life Long Links is to make sure that care experienced children and young people have a positive support network around them to help them during their time in care and when they become adults.
The Life Long Links model includes tools and techniques for Life Long Links Co-ordinators to use to search for and find family members (known or unknown to the young person) and other adults (such as former Foster Carers or teachers) who care about the young person. They will then bring you all together to make a life-long support plan, with and for the young person.
Your PA will be able to give you more information if this is something you are interested in
If you want to see your mum, dad, brothers, sisters or grandparents we will support you to have time with them. When you are over the age of 18 you will be able to arrange this by yourself or with our support.
You may also be able to have structured family time sessions with your brothers and sisters if this is thought to be in their best interests where they are under the age of 18.
If your family live outside of Blackpool we may be able to support you to visit them in the area that they live
Your PA will be able to give you more information if this is something you are interested in.
Hellos and Goodbyes
We know that when you turn 18 you are likely to have been supported by a social worker for a long time. We will make sure that you have the opportunity to say goodbye to them, if this is something that you want to do.
We also make sure that you have the support of a PA before your 16th birthday so that you have the opportunity to build a stable and trusting relationship with them. We will not change your PA unless we have to, or unless you want us to. If there is going to be a change we will talk to you about this so that you are prepared and have the opportunity to meet your new PA.
We want you to be happy and healthy and we will help and support your health and wellbeing when you leave care
If you would like support to access health service or need someone to go with you, your PA will support.
Support for being Happy and Healthy
We want to make sure that you get the help and support you need when you need or want it. Your PA will help to access the following should you need it:
Help with prescription costs - Have a repeat prescription? Let your PA know and we will support with an exemption certificate. This would mean that you would not have to pay. They will also help you to access support with prescriptions if you are on a low income.
Sexual Health and Substance Misuse
We have Family Practitioners in our team who work with young people who would like support with sexual health and substance misuse. They can help with contraception, alcohol and drug misuse, problems with STDs or STIs. You can refer yourself or your PA can refer you
Mental Health and Wellbeing
There are a number of services available to you who offer support around mental health and wellbeing. This includes 1:1 sessions and group sessions. Your PA will give you the information that you need should you want to access these services. If you are struggling with your mental health we are here to help and support you, please just ask for help...don't bottle it up.
Kooth - online mental wellbeing support: https://www.kooth.com/
YouththerapY - Welcome to Youtherapy children and young people’s service | Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (bfwh.nhs.uk)
Follow the link for more information about health support https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Residents/Health-and-social-care/Children-and-families/JustUz/Your-health/Your-Health.aspx
Passport to Leisure
The Passport to Leisure scheme provides free and reduced access to leisure provision for all of our children and young people up to the age of 25 years.
The scheme entitles the individual to free and reduced access to the activities outlined below at the following locations:
- Palatine Leisure Centre, 207 St Annes Road, Blackpool, FY4 2AP
- Blackpool Sports Centre, West Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9HQ
- Moor Park Health & Leisure Centre, Bristol Avenue, Blackpool, FY2 0JG
You are able to access the following at these sites:
- Casual Swimming
- Table Tennis*
- Fitness Room access
- Casual rock climbing and bouldering
- Athletics track
*Free use of badminton and table tennis court, enables the individual to bring a friend to play with for free.
Half price instructor led activities, including:
- Rock climbing courses
- Exercise Classes
- Swimming Lessons
- Roller Skating
- Netball coaching
- Basketball coaching
- Holiday Sports Camps
The range of activities is growing all the time, so the above lists are not all inclusive – check out our website for an up to date list of activities on offer, for all ages: www.sportblackpool.co.uk
If you live outside of Blackpool we will support you to access community sports centres so that you can access similar activities that may be on offer where you live.
There is lots of support on offer to help you achieve your aspirations, whatever they may be. We have worked with a range of organisations who can offer you lots of opportunities and support. Your PA will support you to figure out what is the best route for you and will work alongside you to help you to achieve in your chosen path.
There is money available for you, so that you can go on educational trips.
Support with College
If you are planning to go to college then we have made sure that there is some financial support available to help with buying the things that you need, like books and stationery. Your PA will help you to apply for the 16-19 Bursary. If you are awarded this then it will provide you with some money whilst you are in college. Check out the Money Matters Guide for more information.
A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.
You can apply if you’re:
- eligible to work in England
- unemployed and have little or no work experience
- aged 16 to 24 and qualified up to and including Level 3 (equivalent to A Level)
Support with University
If you want to go to university we want to help you get there!
Our support includes:
- Paying towards university accommodation, fees and living costs
- Visits to campus before your apply
- Support with writing your personal statement, if you want this
- Taking you to Hall of Residence and helping you to settle in
- Keeping in touch with you to see how you are getting on and celebrate your achievements
There are also bursaries and student finance who could help with grants and loans. For more information follow the link: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance
Jobs in the Family Firm
This group is working with teams across the Council to provide you with opportunities within the Council. This could be a paid role, work experience, volunteering and much more. You should have a Greater Jobs account and profile so that you can see what roles are available. Young people have worked with the Participation Team and others who have become Life Guards for Council leisure centres. There are lots of different opportunities that could suit you.
Ask your PA about your Greater Jobs account and tell them if you want help and support with a CV, application form or writing a personal statement.
The Council is committed to making sure that you are guaranteed an interview for any apprenticeships that they have where you meet the essential criteria in the job description.
Support into Work
There is lots of support available to you to help you into training or work. We have The Platform which is a service for 16 to 24 year olds to help them find a job, access training or education. There is a team of friendly and skilled employment advisers who will work with you with things like CV writing, interview techniques, confidence building, arranging work experience placements, education and training and linking in with local job opportunities.
- Text or call on 07342 056448
- Call our office on 01253 477775
- Pop into The Platform, Unit 3 Bickerstaffe House (next to the new Post Office) to make an appointment
- Email: email@example.com
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Services
Find out more about what is on offer to young people with SEND via the link below
Blackpool local offer - FYi Directory
For more information on support linked to your education follow https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Residents/Health-and-social-care/Children-and-families/JustUz/Your-Education/Your-Education.aspx
Housing and Accommodation
We will help you to find a home that is right for you and make that you feel confident and prepared to live independently.
You can access a range of accommodation when you turn 18 and your PA will support you taking into account your strengths, needs and wishes. Your options include:
- Staying Put with your Foster Carer
- Moving into supported or semi-independent accommodation
- Your own home with support from housing transition workers from Blackpool Coastal Housing
- Renting your own home
- Planning to buy your own property
If you choose to continue to live with your foster carer this is called a Staying Put arrangement. This will be discussed with you and your foster carer and the other people who support you in foster care. You will have to pay rent and a contribution towards bills.
Staying Put arrangements continue until you are 21 or longer is you are in further/higher education. You can find out more information on the Staying Put section of this website.
Moving into supported or semi-independent accommodation
It might be that you do not feel ready to live independently and that is okay. If this is the case there are places that you can live where there is some extra support in place for you.
The Positive Transitions (PT) Pathway aims to give tailored, intensive tenancy management and life coaching. This is with the aim of helping you to be a successful tenant, managing your own tenancy.
You will have a PT Officer who will offer you advice, guidance and reassurance when you take the first steps to living independently.
Renting your own Home
You might choose to live on your own, with a friend or with your partner in your own home. This is called private rented accommodation. Your PA will help you to look for flats or houses that are affordable for you and help you check the quality of the property. They will also support you and show you how you can do this for yourself as part of developing your skills for independence.
Planning to buy your own home
You might have been able to save money or have some inheritance or compensation payments that you can use towards buying a home.
Your PA will support you to explore all options with you
Our Housing Protocol outlines our offer to you. Your PA will have information about this
Help with moving into a new home
When you are ready to move into your own home we will support you to but the essential things that you need. This is called your 'Setting Up Home Allowance'. This money can be used towards:
- Furniture, flooring and white goods (like a washing machine)
- TV Licence
- Cooker and washing machine and the connection costs
- Decorating costs
- Contents Insurance
- Anything else you may need for your home
These are some of the things you will need to do:
- Attend tenancy training
- Worked on budgeting
- Set up and pay bills
- Set up and pay Council Tax
- Read and sign your tenancy agreement (where needed)
- Have an email address
Council Tax Support
We will support you to pay your council tax up until the age of 21:
Tax year in which 18th birthday falls - The LA pay 85% contribution and you pay 15%
Tax year in which 19th birthday falls - The LA pay 70% contribution and you pay 30%
Tax year in which 20th birthday falls - The LA pay 55% contribution and you pay 45%
Tax year in which 21st birthday falls - The LA pay 30% contribution and you pay 70%
This contribution is applied after any other discount, for example, single persons allowance
Job Centre Support
Your PA will offer you lots of help and support to make sure that everything is in place for you. There is also a dedicated worker from the Job Center who works with care experienced young people. He is based at The Platform and you can meet him there.
- Keep in touch with your PA to plan for independence
- Work with the Housing Services that are there to support you
- Attend any appointments with the job centre and make sure you are on time
- Stick to your tenancy agreement
There are lots of things in place to help and support you financially, your PA will give you a copy of Money Matters.
Help with food and bills
There may be times when you are struggling to pay some bills or you find yourself short of food. We want to help you if you are having difficulties. Speak to your PA they will help you look at what help you need and will make sure you have the right support moving forward. They can help you get food parcels or they have be able to help with gas and electric if things get really difficult.
Most importantly - TALK TO US, don't struggle alone!
Driving Lessons, Tests and Licence
Learning to drive is expensive and we want to support you. We will provide you with one provisional driving licence, one theory test, one practical test and the cost of 5 (1 hour) driving lessons. You will need to match this by paying for 5 lessons as well. This offer is available to young people who have been engaged in education, training and employment for three months and do not have any driving convictions. If you want to learn to ride a moped or motorbike, speak to your PA to use this package to finance these.
You will need ID for lots of things. This includes, opening a bank accounts, starting a new job or accessing services. We will therefore support you to make sure that you have a suitable form of photo ID. We will also support you to get your first passport.
For more information on the Financial Support that we offer check our Money Matters - Ask your PA for a copy
The Covenant is an organisation that works with large companies and organisations to improve support for care leavers. They offer lots of exciting opportunities and young people have been to work and attend Latitude Festival, explore work experience with ITV and one has won a pair of trainers. Sign up to the Connect App to find out what is on offer for your or ask your PA for more information Connects Sign-up - Care Leaver Covenant (mycovenant.org.uk)
We have a number of libraries in Blackpool that you can access. They all have lots of activities that you and your children can access as well as lots of really helpful services:
- Borrow up to 14 books at a time for free, with no overdue charges
- Request a book from any library in Blackpool, free of charge
- Free public computer and internet access for 1.5 hours a day
- Printing, scanning and photocopying facilities (charges apply)
- Free Wifi at all library sites
- Author events, music gigs and activities
- Free access to digital resources such as World Book Online and Digital Unite
- Free access to online business resources
- Free eBooks, eAudio, online newspapers and magazines via the Libby/PressReader apps
Keep up to date with us on social media at
Your Children can:
- Borrow up to 14 books at a time free of charge, with no overdue charges
- Weekly activities for children under 4 across Blackpool, including Baby Bounce and Rhyme
- Weekly Facebook Live Toddler Time singing and story session
- Ty fun one off activities throughout the year and in school holidays
- Join the Summer Reading Challenge – read six books over the summer to receive a certificate and a medal
- Request a book from any library in Blackpool, free of charge
- Free public computer and internet access for 1.5 hours a day
· Free eBooks, eAudio, online newspapers and magazines via the Libby/PressReader apps
Expecting a baby? Already have children? We are here for you whenever you need us. Being and becoming a parent can be exciting, worrying and scary all at the same time!
There are lots of activities in our Family HUBs that you can attend before your baby arrives and if you already have children. Make sure you check with your PA that you are registered and able to access these. From Baby Steps, the Well Baby Clinic, Stay and Play and Messy Play - the Family HUBs have lots on offer for you and your children. Your Midwife will also be able to support you so just ask.
Some of the things that we do to support are:
Help you claim the Healthy Start Vouchers:
With Healthy Start, you get free vouchers each week to spend on milk, fresh, frozen and tinned fruit; vegetables, fresh, dried and tinned pulses and infant forumal milk. You can also get free vitamins.
Your qualify for Healthy Start if you're at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family recieve:
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseekers allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
- Pension Credit; or
- Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don't get any of the above benefits.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
You could get a one-of payment of £500 to help towards the cost of having a child. This is known as a Sure Start Maternity Grant. Usually, to qualify for a Sure Start Maternity Grant there must be no other children in your family. You or your partner must also get one of these benefits:
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseekers allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or sever disability element
- Universal Credit
Your Midwife or PA will be able to support you to check if you are eligable
Following the birth of your child you will be able to claim Child Benefit. This is a benefit that all parents are eligible for no matter what your income.
You get Child Benefit if you're responsible for bringing up a child who is:
- Under 16
- Under 20 if they are in approved education or training
- Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child
It is paid every 4 weeks and there is no limit to how many children you can claim for
If you find yourself in a position where you are at Court, please let us know. We have formed some strong relationships with Probation Officers at court and if they know that you are a care leaver they will be able to provide information to the Court about your individual circumstances.
Even though you are in custody we will still work together on your Pathway Plan.
To make sure that your return to the community is as seamless as possible we will ebgin to plan at least three months before you are released. We will involve you in the process alond with your Offender Manager in the community and other relevant agencies.
There is also a finance package available to you whilst you are in custody to ensure that your needs are met. This includes money for clothing, an allowance for everyday items and other financial support may be available depending on individual circumstances. Your PA should have provided you with the Money Matters guide that outlines your entitlement.
We will come and visit you whilst you are in custody. How often this happens will be different for each individual, depending on their needs and wishes, but we will visit every 8 weeks as a minimum.
Your PA will also be key in acting as an advocate for you whilst you are in custody. If you want to take part in training courses available at the establishment, let us know and we can work with the prison to secure these opportunities. We can also advocate for Release on Temporary Licence to support your resettlement plan where the Probation Service are in support of this.
Remember, just because you are in custody does not mean that you do not have a say in your plans for the future. We want to support you whatever your hopes and aspirations are for the future and celebrate all that you achieve whilst you are in custody.
Your PA and the team really want to work with you to build a positive relationship. They are proud of all the young people that they work with and really want to know how well you are doing!
In March of every year we hold the Shake it Up conference. This is a chance for you to come together and have a shared voice about the service that Blackpool provide for you. Tell us what works well and what we could be doing better.
Every year we hold the You Rock Awards in November. This is an event to celebrate how wonderful you all are! Music, food, fabulousness and fun are all part of the evening.
Care Leavers Week is held every October half term. This is a week dedicated to you with lots of find activities, new experiences, food and a chance to just have fun!
You should have access to or be supported with the following:
- Opening a bank account
- Have a passport
- A driving license
- Passport to Leisure Card
- National Insurance Number
- Council Tax Information
- Electoral Roll at 18
- Greater Jobs Account
- Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
- Prescription help
The information below is linked to support available in Blackpool specifically
| Personal Advisors
| Housing Advice
| 01253 477760
| 01253 477536
| Job Centre Plus
| 0800 169 0190
| Head of Adolescent Services
| Discretionary Support Scheme
| 0800 694 0100
|Discretionary Support Scheme (blackpool.gov.uk)
|Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
|0800 030 5182
|Free 24 hours confidential helpline
|Health, Social Care, childcare and community directory for the Fylde Coast
There are lots of other places that you can go for help and support. The information below outlines some of these services