Who is Who and What Do They Do
Every Care Leaver is entitled to a Personal Advisor until their 25th birthday. Your Personal Advisor will help you create your ‘pathway plan’ and help you reach your goals by providing practical and emotional support.
You should have been given the details of who your Personal Advisor is and what their contact details are.
Bedford Borough Council has a number of trained mentors working within the Council to offer advice and guidance to young people, helping them to set goals and supporting them to achieve these. The areas for you to work on with a mentor are for you to decide but may include educational targets, getting into work or becoming involved in clubs or other community activities. If you would like to work with a mentor please speak to your social worker or Personal Advisor who will complete a referral form with you.
All looked after children and care leavers have the right to access an advocate to represent them and help them to challenge their Local Authority when they disagree with decisions that are being made or are concerned that their voice is not being heard. You can find out more about the Advocacy Service in Bedford Borough and how to get an advocate by reading Leaflet Three – My Voice.
Work Coaches and Jobcentre Plus staff
Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches often play a key role in a young person’s life, and many young care leavers tell us that they meet and have better relationships with their work coaches than many other professionals they encounter. You can find out more about work coaches by reading Leaflet Four – Your Finances.
Looked after children undergo annual health assessments and in each area a Looked after Nurse works to coordinate care, liaise between the Local Authority and Health Services and provide a familiar face to young people. You can read more about health and healthcare professionals in Leaflet Six – Your Physical and Mental Health.
Virtual School Head Teacher and Staff
The Virtual School is to make sure Looked after Children are getting the best support in their Education. It is not an actual school in a real building, but the staff are real and their job is to write your Personal Education Plan and make sure everything you need is in place. You can read more about this in Leaflet Seven – Employment, Education and Training.
The Housing Officers are there to give you advice on tenancy rights and responsibilities alongside lots of other support with applying for housing, managing your relationship with your land-lord and supporting you with rent payment and giving advice on any arrears or debts you may have. You can read more about this in Leaflet Five – Housing and Accommodation.
Elected Members/Corporate Parents
Elected members are people who have been voted by their local communities to become Councillors. These people represent the communities in which they live to make sure that Bedford Borough Council has the right services in place. All Elected Members have a responsibility towards looked after children and care leavers to ensure that the services on offer support children and young help them to achieve well, receive good care and keep them safe.
The Engagement and Development Team are here to help you share your voice, views, wishes, feeling and experiences, to make sure our services are working in the best way possible. We support the Care Leavers Forum and Children in Care Council alongside activities in the School/College Holidays. As well as telling us about the issues that are most important to you, you will get chance to meet managers and decision makers. You will receive letters from us with details of all of our session; we hope to see you soon.