Warrington's Local Offer for care leavers

In Warrington, we're fully committed to providing you with the support you need to make the transition to adult life. Here you can find information about the support you can expect from the council and our partner agencies at every stage of your journey. There are also links to local and national services who can offer advice and support, depending on your individual needs. You can find support by category:

Or you can browse all services specific to care leavers.

Am I a 'care leaver'?

The term 'care leaver' is defined in the Children (Care Leavers) Act 2000.

You are an 'eligible', 'relevant' or 'former relevant' care leaver if:

  • The council has previously acted as a corporate parent to you.
  • You are aged 16 or 17 and have already left care, but you were 'looked after' for at least 13 weeks from the age of 14, and have been 'looked after' at some time whilst you were 16 or 17.
  • You are aged 18, 19 or 20 and you used to be an 'eligible' and/or 'relevant' child.

You are a 'qualifying' care leaver if:

  • You left care after you turned 16, but you're not 'eligible' or 'relevant' because you weren't 'looked after' for at least 13 weeks.
  • You were accommodated, but in residential education, mental/health provision private fostering or special guardianship.

Pathway Plans and Personal Advisors

When you turned 16, your social worker will have discussed your Pathway Plan with you and you should have had an input into the things that have gone into this plan.  We'll review this plan with you every six months, or sooner if needed. 

At 16 you will also be allocated a Personal Advisor. They will remain with you, offering support right through until you turn 21, or 25 if you choose. Your plan will be reviewed by your social worker until you are 18. Your Personal Advisor will then review your Pathway Plan with you during your early adult years. 

Depending on the support you need, you may continue to have ongoing support from a social worker into adulthood. Your Personal Advisor will work closely with you if necessary, making sure that we're able to provide the support you need through adult social care services.  

When reviewing your Pathway Plan, we usually cover certain issues to make sure that we support you fully through the transition process.  This includes your health and wellbeing, money, relationships, education, employment, housing, participation in society, advocacy and more.

Corporate parenting

The government has introduced a set of ‘corporate parenting principles’. We will always try to meet these, and we promise to:

  • Act in the best interests of care leavers and promote your physical amd mental wellbeing.
  • Encourage you to express your wishes and feelings
  • Take into account your views, wishes and feelings when completing your Pathway Plan and designing services to offer support.
  • Help you to gain access to and make best use of services provided by both the local authority and other relevant partner agencies.
  • Promote high aspirations and seek to secure the best outcomes for care leavers.
  • Strive to ensure that you are safe and have stability in your home life, relationships, education and/or work.
  • Strive to prepare you for adulthood and independent living.

Access to your records

We hold all of your records in line with the national Social Care Record Guarantee, which is a set of rules including:

  • How we must manage your information and keep it safe
  • How we can use your information
  • Your rights to access your own records
  • How access to your records is monitored and policed
  • The options you have when deciding who can see your records
  • Access to your records in an emergency
  • What happens when you're unable to make decisions for yourself 

How to see your records

Download and fill in the access to social care records application form on the main council website and send it back to us. Or your Personal Advisor can bring you a paper copy if it's easier for you. 

The council website and the application form explains what you need to do, including the information you need to tell us to help us trace your records, and the ID you need to provide.

To access someone else's records, on their behalf, use the same application form - however you must provide clear evidence of your authority to act for the person, such as a letter of instruction or power of attorney.

How it works, and how long it takes

  • We'll confirm that we've received your request, in writing, within five working days.
  • We'll then gather your information together (your records may be in more than one building)
  • We'll check the files
  • We'll get any permissions we need from other people 
  • We'll contact you to arrange a time for you to come to our office to collect copies of your records, or view them with a social worker/personal advisor.

This can take up to 40 days – we'll let you know if it's going to be longer.

If you think your records are wrong

Your record contains two kinds of information – facts and opinions:

  • Facts are things like your name, date of birth, the help you need and the services you receive. If any of the factual information we hold about you is wrong please let us know so we can put it right.
  • Opinions are other people’s views about your situation. You can’t change recorded opinions even if you don’t agree with them. If you don’t like what someone said about you please discuss it with your social worker/personal advisor, and they will add a note to your file explaining that you disagree with that opinion. 

Need more help?

Please contact the Access Social Care team.

Appeals and complaints

If you want to appeal against a decision refusing a request to access or amend your records, you can take your appeal to the Information Commissioner's Officer or to the courts. 

Reporting abuse

The council works with other agencies including the police and health services to protect the most vulnerable. If you're concerned that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk of, or experiencing, abuse or neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away so that the appropriate services can take the appropriate action to prevent harm. 

Some adults may be more at risk and less able to protect themselves from harm or exploitation as a result of age, frailty, disability, illness or their lifestyle. Adult safeguarding is about protecting an adult at risk’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect. It is also about supporting them to protect themselves and make decisions about how they live their life well and safely. 

If you witness, suspect or have concerns that an 'adult at risk' is being abused it is your responsibility to report it.  You can do this by:

  • calling the Adult Social Care First Response Team on 01925 443322
  • calling the police on 101 if you believe a crime has been committed
  • calling 999 if you believe the adult is at immediate risk of harm  

Am I, or a person I care for, an 'adult at risk'?

The Care Act 2014 describes an “adult at risk” as someone who is:

  • 18 years or over, and
  • has needs for care and support, and
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  • as a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect 

What is abuse and neglect?

Abuse or neglect can be single or repeated acts of abuse, be done deliberately or unintentionally, and be as a result of a failure of others to protect people from abuse.  

It can occur in many forms, for example: 

  • Physical abuse – such as hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, or restraint
  • Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse or ‘honour-based violence’. Find out more about domestic abuse support and information.
  • Sexual abuse – such as rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, or innuendo
  • Psychological abuse – including intimidation, bullying, shouting, swearing, taunting, threatening or humiliating someone.
  • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, forcing someone to do something in relation to their financial arrangements (for example wills, property, financial transactions), misusing or taking their money, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery – including slavery (including domestic slavery), human trafficking and forced labour.
  • Discriminatory abuse – such as harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • Organisational abuse – organisational neglect and poor care in an institution such as a hospital, care home or care agency. This could be a culture of bullying, poor organisation, denying people choice, and lack of dignity and respect for service users.
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical-care needs, failing to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, and withholding necessities, such as medication, adequate food and drink and heating.
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. 

What kinds of people abuse others?

Anyone can abuse, including a person you might least expect. Abusers can include spouses/partners, carers and care workers, family members/relatives, friends, neighbours, volunteer helpers, professional workers and strangers. 

What happens next?

Adult Social Care will:

  • listen to your concerns seriously
  • they will involve relevant agencies to investigate the concerns and protect the adult
  • they will coordinate necessary actions
  • they will treat the adult with dignity and respect 

Wherever possible the adult’s wishes and feelings will help determine what needs to happen.  All information will be treated confidentially.

Complaints and compliments

It’s ok to complain or say you're not happy about any part of the care you receive, including your carers, social workers, youth workers or teachers.

If we don’t know about it, we can’t help - and by speaking out you might even make things better for other children and young people too. We always try to deal with complaints and compliments as quickly as we can and where possible we use them to improve our services.

Our complaints system gives you a chance to give your views to help make our services better. It provides valuable information to enable the council to plan and review the services it provides in Warrington. The children and young people’s complaints policy and procedure sets out how we do this. 

If you wish to make a complaint or compliment please call the complaints manager free on 0800 011 3644 or email childrenscomplaints@warrington.gov.uk.

You can also write to: FREEPOST Warrington Borough Council Children’s Customer Service Manager, Lower Ground Floor New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NJ.