Next Steps Leaving Care Service
How we can help
Next Steps is the Leaving Care Service in Wakefield, the team are dedicated to supporting you onto independence. Support can be from age 16 up until 25 years.
We want to ensure that you know that at 18, things may change for you as you become an adult, but this does not mean you are alone; there is support available from Next Steps and other people to help you to move onto independence and beyond.
The team consists of the following: a team Manager, two Senior Personal Advisors and ten Personal Advisors.
Leaving Care have recently changed how the duty service runs to ensure they are more accessible to you when you need support. These changes include:
- The duty service now runs from Mon-Thurs 9am – 4:30 & Friday 9am until 4pm
You can contact them in more ways:
- Freephone mobile on 07825930107
- Email on firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person at Next Steps
- The office: 01924 304 100
- Freephone: 08001 380 073
- Postal address: 2 Warren Court, Off Park Lodge Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 4XA
The Connect Cafe is open Monday to Friday and groups run from there. These include :
- Football sessions
- Skills Programme
- LGBQTIA+ social group
Please keep checking the What’s On section so you know if the drop ins are running a clinic or event. If you have any ideas about the kinds of clinics you would like to see running (examples are budgeting, housing), then please let the team know.
They will also ensure that they ‘Keep in Touch’ with you until you are 25. This might be by
- By newsletter
- By call
- Near your birthday
"My personal advisor is doing her best for me , she has helped me sort out my council tax bill, my SUHA and I feel she is kind to me." S
They are here to be one of the main people that will help you make the transition from being a Child in Care to a Care Leaver. They aren’t Social Workers and so they won’t do the same job that a Social Worker. They will talk to you about how often you want to see them, where you want to see them and guide you to making decisions about the future, making sure you know all your options.
- Start to get to know you when you are still a Child in Care to start helping you and those around you.
- Help you to develop skills and put in place the things in your life that will enable you to live independently in your own home when you are ready.
- Make sure the people around you are helping you to develop skills that will help you look after yourself.
- Help you find and access work and training opportunities.
- Help you find and manage a suitable home when you are ready.
- Make sure the people around you are helping you make the most of your money and live on a budget.
- Help you to budget so you have enough money to pay your bills.
- Make sure you know and are getting all the money you are entitled to including benefits and bursaries.
- Help you to keep in touch with your friends and family.
- Help you to find and access support when you need it, including counselling and advice on issues such as drugs and alcohol and your sexual health.
- Work with you and your CIC Social Worker to make sure everything in place before you turn 18.
- Listen to you.
- Care for you
- And from 18 we will be one of the people who will help and support you to become a happy healthy adult.
Your social worker is based in one of the 14-18 teams but they will stay in close contact with your PA to ensure they support you together. They are the people who will make decisions about what happens when you’re under 18.
Your Social Worker will:
- Make sure the people who are caring for you are helping you learn the skills you will need as an adult.
- Work with you to make sure there is an idea as to what your future will hold and make sure the plans are in place to make this happen
- Complete the initial Pathway Plan Assessment and regularly review your Pathway Plan with you until you are 18
- Come to see you regularly to make sure you are ok.
- Make sure you have all the necessary ID in place that will enable you to access money, a home and employment.
Wakefield has a responsibility to write down how we’re going to prepare you to leave care and how this will be done will depend on your needs, maturity and at a pace that suits you this is called Pathway Planning.
As a young person moving towards independence you should expect to receive the same level of care and support as any other young person would receive from a reasonable parent. This means that your social worker will work with you to complete an initial Pathway Plan, this will take into account what is happening for you, how you feel, what your hopes are for the future and how we can help you get ready for the future. This will need to be completed by the time you are 16 years and 3 months or within 12 weeks of you becoming a Child in Care if this is after your 16th birthday
In writing this down your social worker has to consider what advice, assistance and support is appropriate taking into account
- Your health needs
- Education, employment or training
- Accommodation needs
- Financial Needs
- Emotional Needs
- Family relationships and the need to maintain these
- Race, religion and culture.
You will be fully involved in discussions and plans for your future and completing the Pathway Plan.
The Pathway Plan is reviewed every at least every six months or it can be reviewed more often at your request or that of your personal advisor or if there are any significant changes to your circumstances including a change of placement.
Wakefield review your plan until you are 21 or until you no longer need a service.
Wakefield must consider any request to return to service after 21 years of age and up to 25 if at any point you wish to return to service
If talking hasn't helped or you feel you have no one you can talk to, please ring the Compliments and Complaints Team. They listen to what you have to say and will try and help to sort things out.
You have the right to make a comment or a complaint about services or accommodation you have received. You might have a suggestion about how things might be done better.
Compliments and Complaints Team Telephone: 01924 302840
No one is allowed to hurt you in any way. If you are worried about anything at all, please don’t be afraid to speak up as there are lots of people who care about you and want to help.