Central Bedfordshire Children in Care Council

Living Away From Home

Being in care is another way of saying that you are living away from home. There are many reasons why you may not be able to live at home and so the local authority (Central Bedfordshire) has a responsibility to look after you and be your Corporate Parents. This can be a very confusing and worrying but we want to make your time in care safe and give you the opportunity to succeed.

Why am I living away from home?

There are different reasons why children live away from home and you should be told this reason. If you are not sure why you are looked after ask your social worker.

You may be looked after under a Section 31 Care Order, which means the court has made the decision for you to be looked after. Your parents will have joint parental responsibility for you.

If you are looked after under Section 20, this means that your parents have agreed for you to be accommodated, your parents will still have parental responsibility for you.

Moving away from home or to a new placement can be scary, before you move it is hoped that you will have the chance to meet the people you will be living with.

The Children in Care Council have thought of some questions you may want to ask:-

1.    Who else lives in the house?
2.    Will I need to change schools?
3.    Can I continue with my hobbies?
4.    When will I see my family and friends?
5.    Do you have house rules written out?
6.    What are the rules with regards to using the phone / computer?

When you first move to your new home, your carers / key workers will do all they can to settle you in, let the carers know what they can do to help you settle in to the new home. You may want to write a list of what you like and dislike.

‘When I first moved into a new home, I wanted to have some time on my own. I would tell the foster carers that I would like some time on my own, it saved them from keep asking ‘do you want a drink, are you ok?’ I would then join them when I was ready’ Care Leaver Aged 22.

When you come into care there are lots of people who work together to make sure that you are happy, safe and able to achieve. You will be allocated an IRO (Independent Reviewing Officer) who will chair your review meeting and will check that the local authority is doing what it should be doing and will ask you about your wishes and feelings.

Once you reach 16, depending on how long you have been in care, you maybe entitled to a leaving care service. If you do have any questions on leaving care, speak to your social worker.

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Mind of My Own App   

Virtual Apps to stay in touch and help to protect children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

 The Mind of My Own App gives children and young people in Central Beds a voice and helps them to communicate and tell us how they feel about the support they are receiving and their wishes and feelings. Children and young people said they find speaking this way much easier. It can be translated into over 100 different languages.

The App is mainly used with children up to the age of 15. For more information please access the poster attached.Mind of My Own Information

Care Leaver AppThe Care Leaver App, which is free to download and includes information, advice and guidance for care leavers across a range of subjects including Benefits and Entitlements, Housing, Managing Money and Advocacy.

What else?

  • The App can be used without the need for an internet connection
  • Content within the App can be translated into several languages.
  • A directory of local and national services and organisations that can offer further help and support
  • Listings of local events, activities and meetings.
  • Events are searchable by keyword and date.
  • A contact page for the leaving care team, including any emergency contact details, and much more
  • Find the App by searching “Central Bedfordshire CLA”.
  • The App is for Care Leavers that are aged15 and over.

For details and support for both Apps, please call 0300 300 4992 or email cicc@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

The Children in Care Council (CiCC) felt that some of the words that are used for children and young people in care and those leaving care, could be replaced with words that are positive and make them feel empowered. They created a 'Dictionary of terms’ to help those working with children and young people Providing Language That Cares

The regional Children in Care Council have devised top tips to support those who work and engage with children and young people and to encourage good practice.Top 10 Tips for Central Beds Practitioners

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