Care Leavers: introduction and testimonies

Our Local Offer will help you understand what services and support you can expect not only from your Leaving Care Service but from the wider services within Bradford District in supporting your journey to independence and adulthood.

Your Leaving Care Service is your first point of contact. We recognise that just because you are preparing to leave care or have left care already; we haven’t stopped caring about you. The Local Offer for Bradford Care Leavers sets out what you can expect beyond care.

Our Care Leavers have helped to develop this offer and we will continue to listen to your views to make sure the services we offer are what you need.

You have told us your top priorities:

  • Finding a good place to live
  • Having time to get to know your social worker and/or personal advisor and build relationships
  • Knowing your rights and entitlements before leaving care to help you plan
  • Help with budgeting and finding work
  • Help with getting important qualifications
  • Being creative in how you learn new skills including virtual and e-learning opportunities

Bradford Children and Families Trust, along with Bradford Council, has a responsibility to act as your ‘Corporate Parent’ which means it is a shared responsibility to be good parents to you, working together to enable you to achieve.

The Corporate Parenting Panel is founded on 7 key principle as set out within the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

The 7 principles are:

  • To act in the best interests, and promote the physical and mental health and well-being of those children and young people
  • To encourage those children and young people to express their views, wishes and feelings
  • To take into account the views, wishes and feelings of those children and young people
  • To help those children and young people gain access to and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and its relevant partners
  • To promote high aspirations and to seek to secure the best outcomes for those children and young people
  • For those children and young people to be safe, and for stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work
  • To prepare those children and young people for adulthood and independent living

Our Corporate Parenting Panel is chaired by Councillor Duffy and is aligned to the National Corporate Parenting Principles and the Care Leavers Charter.

Dear Care Leavers,

The next few years will undoubtedly be a scary and confusing time, full of new challenges to face and problems to solve. However, the lessons you will learn, people you will meet and opportunities that will come your way will make it a worthy and useful time, shaping and preparing you to navigate the world as an independent and capable adult.

During your leaving care experience, you will have your own team of people guiding and supporting you in every way they can, from social workers to IRO’s to personal advisers.

Whatever path you take, support can always be put in place for you, so explore your options and make sure to find the best one for you.

My advice, as someone who has been through the system, is to be firm in what you want but be prepared and willing to cooperate – the people around you only want the best for you, even though it may not always seem like it.  

On behalf of the Care Leavers Council, we wish you luck in your journey and wherever it may take you.