Why you're in care
There could be a number of reasons - it's probably because your own parents can't look after you or they're abroad. It could be that it's not safe for you to stay at home, so we had to find you a safe place in foster care, in a children's home, or with someone who could adopt you.
How long you'll be in care
You could be in care for as little as a few days, a week, a month, or for much longer. Some young people can be in care until they're 18. It all depends on your circumstances.
Where you'll live
Before we decide where you'll live, we’ll do an assessment to see what type of care is best for you.
Depending on your circumstances, we may place you with a foster carer, in a children’s home, or in respite care. We may even place you with one of your own relatives or a family friend if they're able and willing to look after you.
If we place you in a children's home, you'll be living with other children in care. You'll have a key worker, who you can talk to if you have any problems. We have three children's homes in Barnsley. One of them is suitable for children and young people who have a disability.
We may place you in respite care if your parent or carer needs a break. You'd go to stay with someone, perhaps just for one day a week, a weekend, or longer depending on the circumstances.
If you have brothers or sisters who are also in care, we’ll try to place you together. If we can't, you'll still be able to keep in touch with them.
Going to school
You may still be able to go to the same school you've always gone to if your placement is near enough. Sometimes, we have to place you in a different area if it's not safe, or there aren't any children's homes or foster carers available where you used to live.
Seeing your family and friends
We'll encourage you to keep in touch with your family and friends if it’s safe for you to do so. We’ll never force you to have contact with anyone you don’t want to.
Your social worker will talk to you about this and you and the people looking after you will be involved in deciding when, where and how you’ll see your family.
You may choose to keep in contact through phone calls, letters, visits, and even overnight stays. As part of your care plan, we’ll continue to review how much contact you have with your family.
If you’re unhappy or scared about seeing your parents or anyone else, tell your social worker or someone in the Children's Rights team. We can limit or stop you seeing them if we think it's not safe.
You'll get regular pocket money when you're in care.
The people looking after you will also get money to help to look after you. They’ll use it to buy you clothes, for holidays, social activities, and to pay for your visits to family and friends.
Speak to your social worker or the people looking after you about pocket money – how much it is, how often you’ll receive it and what you can spend it on - you’ll always have a say on this.
Here's what you can expect from us
We'll look after you in a safe and caring home
We'll promote, support and respect your identity
We'll ensure you receive a good education
We'll support you to be healthy
We'll prepare you for the future
We'll involve you in making it happen