If you are pregnant and you are not sure what to do, don’t worry in silence. Speak to your GP, Social Worker or Personal Advisor.
When you hear the news that you are going to be a parent there will be lots of things to think about and lots of things to plan for, but there will be time to get ready and your Personal Advisor can help you start to think about what you will need and what will have to change as you think about a future with a child.
To start this, your personal advisor will work with you to review your pathway plan. Part of this may be encouraging you to think about where you are living, what things you might need for your home and how you will manage financially.
Your Personal Advisor will also talk to you about who is in your life and who will be about to support you, this may be family, partners and or friends. They will also think about those professionals who you know, are part of your life and who you would want to be part of your future. This might be professionals who can help you learn about being a parent or people who can help you stay in college or work as well as being a parent.
Next Steps can also help you find activities and groups that are local to you that you can access to help you as a parent.
They can do this by talking to Early Help. Early help services such as children’s centres and parenting classes are available for you to attend and participate in if you would want extra support in developing your parenting skills.
Your advisor can also visit venues and groups with you to help you see what happens and what they are like.
If you are under 19 you can receive support from the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP), they are a home visiting program for first-time young mums and families. See link in Useful links.
When you are pregnant you will have a midwife and when you have a child, you will have a health visitor. Both will support and advise you through your pregnancy.
As a minimum Next Steps will support you make a claim for the right benefits when you are 24 weeks pregnant. Your PA will also make sure you apply for your maternity grant from the DWP.
Where am I going to live when I'm a parent?
If you already have your own flat, your PA will support you to make this ready for your baby.
They will help you make sure you have all the equipment you need to care for your baby and will help you make use of the support available to help you learn to become a parent.
If you need some extra help there is Parent & baby supported accommodation available. This offers a purpose built supportive environment for young parents to learn how to become parents. The project staff offer support and advice to young parents aged 16 – 25 years of age. When their parents appear more confident they also support young people moving on into their own accommodation.
If Next Steps are worried about your child
Your personal adviser also has a responsibility to let Children & Young People’s Service know if they are really worried about you and what this may mean for how you look after your child.
Your personal advisor will make sure you are made aware if they are worried about you and the care you are providing for your child and will, wherever possible, share with you what they have shared with children’s services.
If your child already has a social worker, your personal advisor will speak to them.
There may also be times when you don’t agree with your personal advisors sharing information with your child’s social worker about you and your care of your child. They will listen to your views and will consider them as is our responsibility to you. However if they believe your child is at risk of harm we do have a duty and responsibility to share that information with your child’s social worker.
What happens if my child has a social worker, what will Next Steps do?
Your personal adviser will be able to guide you through the processes and if you are uncertain about anything. Your personal adviser will also advocate on your behalf if you want to talk to your child’s social worker but are finding it difficult to find the words to speak with them. They will help you find the words.
Your personal advisor may attend some meetings with you and share information with your child’s social worker where this is appropriate. You might want to see more of your Personal Advisor to talk about what is happening.
You can also look at information provided by the Family Rights Group for tips, advice and information.
If you find yourself involved with the YOT or Probation your worker will support you with understanding the process and what you need to do.
If you have any court appearances your worker will also offer to support you during this. They will speak to your YOS Worker to help understand what is needed from you, and anything your allocated worker can do to help you complete any work.
Sometimes Next Steps support young people who are in custody. This could be a Youth Offending Institution or Prison. Your PA will make contact with the team there and arrange visits to you to check on your welfare.
Before you leave we will look at where you will live once you are released.
If you arrive in the UK as an Asylum Seeking Child the CIC teams will support you. In the beginning they will find you somewhere safe to live and help with any urgent needs.
Wakefield Council will support to find you a solicitor and help you to make your claim for asylum. To begin with they will not know how your claim for asylum will be decided but they will still help you attend education and look after your health while you wait for your decision.
If you have family you can contact Wakefield Council will help you try and get in touch with them to let them know you are safe.
Wakefield Council have access to interpreters to help you talk to them and others and they can have documents translated into your first language. They will help you with things such as getting some clothes, arranging some pocket money, accessing your faith and religious needs and communicating with the Home Office and your solicitor.
If you have been diagnosed with a disability Wakefield Council will help to ensure that you have the right support and services. This may include help with access to benefits and/or support from other workers.
You may be supported by Adult Social Care.
It may have been identified that you have a Special Educational Need which explains what help and support you may need to help you learn, train or be employed. This information will be used to ensure that you have the right equipment and support in place and keep this under review in case your needs change. More information can be found on the Local Offer Website.