Children in care and care leavers

What we'll do

We will:

  • make sure you have a name personal advisor
  • make sure you've got a bank account, birth certificate, passport and National Insurance number soon after your 16th birthday
  • help you to fill out forms with other agencies, such as housing
  • prepare you with living skills such as cooking, washing, ironing, cleaning and money management
  • help you to develop your confidence and social skills
  • help you with interviews
  • make sure you don't pay council tax if you live in Barnsley
  • let you know ways to contact your worker and if you leave a message for them that someone will get back to you as soon as possible

When you're 16 you'll be supported by the leaving care team. This team will inform you about the different types of places where you can live once you reach 18 - such as staying at home, or semi-independence.

We acknowledge the impacts of the care experience does not end at 18 or 21, not even at 25.

We will act as a 'family' firm and give you different opportunities where possible.

Leaving care

You can leave care when you reach 18. Leaving care and becoming independent is a big step, so before you leave we'll make sure that you're well prepared.

When you're ready to leave, we'll pair you up with a trained personal adviser (PA). They'll be involved in assessing your needs and preparing a pathway plan for you. Your plan sets out what you want to do with your life, what your aspirations are for the future, and how you'll achieve them.

Your PA will help review your pathway plan every six months to keep you on track. They'll be on hand to give you advice and support until you're 21. Your PA will talk to you about whether you need to continue receiving their support after you turn 21, and if you do your pathway plan will be reviewed with you to record the support you need. Support from your PA will continue for as long as you need it, until you turn 25.

Find out about support for care leavers

Getting ready for independent living

Berneslai Homes offer regular tenancy-ready courses which offer advice and guidance on:

  • what you want and need in a property
  • being a tenant
  • planning your spending
  • viewing a property
  • setting up your home
  • moving day
  • maintaining your property
  • where to get help

Speak to your PA if you'd like to attend one of these courses.

Future Directions

Your PA is based at Future Directions - our leaving care team. Their offices are centrally-based in Barnsley town centre, close to the bus and rail station, at 18 Regent Street, Barnsley, S70 2HG.

You can contact them by calling (01226) 775550. There's a duty worker available from 8.45am to 5pm if your allocated worker isn't available to speak to.

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