It's a big step to move to living on your own and it's important that you know where and who to go to for advice and help. That's why York's Local Offer for Care Leavers exists - to help you know what support is available to you from when you leave care to when you are 25.
There is certain support that the council must provide to care leavers by law:
As well as this support, the Pathway Team offers much more. The care leaver menu on the website takes you through information about support available to you, or you can download a copy of York's Local Offer to Care Leavers.
The pathway team offer information, advice and support for you to access, accommodation, education and training, work experience, health services, financial advice, relationship advice and social opportunities. The team work with other agencies to help you achieve your goals and ambitions. The team is made up of, 5 pathway workers, an accommodation officer, an education training and employment officer (ETE) and a manager.
The Pathway Team provides a duty service Mon – Fri, 1pm – 5 pm, so if your pathway worker is not available you can ring for support or drop in at the office 136 Acomb Road, York, YO24 4HA . If they are busy leave a message and they will get back to you.
Your pathway plan is written by the local authority after consultation with you and important people in your life. Your pathway plan is unique to you. It sets out your needs, your views , your future goals, and exactly what support you will receive from the Pathway Team. The Pathway Team review your plan with you regularly so that it is kept up to date.
The Pathway Team aim to fully involve you in the development of your pathway plan and will support you to express your wishes and views. For your pathway plan to be effective it will be based on the assessment of your needs. It will set out the support you will be offered and the actions required to achieve your goals & aspirations, including contingencies should your circumstances change. It should cover how the Pathway Team will help you achieve the things you want in life; such as going to college, university or getting the job that you want, choosing where you would like to live, being healthy, and keeping in touch with people that are important to you.
A pathway worker will be identified for you after you become 17, so you can build a relationship before they become your allocated worker when you turn 18. Your pathway worker will keep in contact and arrange meetings with you; they will visit you at home and also arrange to meet you in the community. Your pathway worker will provide you with advice, information and guidance to help you make the best choices and decisions. The relationship between you and your pathway worker is important; make the most of the support they can offer. You are entitled to support from a pathway worker until you are 25. The Pathway Team will try to let you keep the same pathway worker, though this may not always be possible. The amount of support that you receive from your pathway worker will depend on what you want and your circumstances.
The pathway accommodation officer supports young people in care and care leavers with their accommodation options. They will offer information and advice on range of accommodation options to ensure your future accommodation is appropriate for your individual needs. The pathway accommodation officer can support you and your foster carer to set up a staying put arrangement and as required make single access point (SAP) referrals to SASH, Howe Hill and other accommodation projects.
Care leavers up to the age of 21 are entitled to support from an independent advocate. The advocates are part of a team called Speak Up, so are separate to the Pathway Team. An advocate can help you express your views and have your voice heard. An advocate only supports you if you would like them to. An advocate can also help you make a complaint if you're unhappy with a council service. Find out more about advocates on the advocacy page.
Whatever your goal or ambition or if you are unsure what you want to do in the future , the pathway ETE officer can provide 1:1 support and guidance to young people in care and care leavers. They have up to date knowledge of local provision, apprenticeships, training providers, colleges and universities. The ETE officers can also offer support to you if you are already in education, employment or training but may be wishing to change career or improve your prospects.