While you have been looked after you will have known some people whose job it is to help and support you.
Family Doctors (also called GPs)
You should be able register with any GP surgery in your local area providing they have spaces available.
All young people in care have a social worker.
Just before you reach age 16 you should also have a personal advisor (sometimes called a pathway advisor or mentor).
Their job is to make sure you get the help and advice you need.
They’re there to help you to plan and prepare to leave care and should be a different person to your social worker.
An advocate is someone who helps young people to speak up for themselves.
An advocate will help you to have a say, to share your views when decisions are being made about your life, and to help you make the best decisions for you.
All looked after children and young people have the right to an advocate.
Your local authority must provide you with an advocate if you want one.
If you don’t have an advocate but would like to have one, ask your social worker. If you find it difficult to get an advocate contact us.
Independent Reviewing Officer
All local authorities have to get an Independent Reviewing Officer to lead the review meetings of all looked after children and care leavers.
They should meet with you before the meetings, and it’s their job to make sure the Care Plans and Pathway Plans are carried out, and to make sure you are treated well and fairly, and listened to.
They’re not from social services.
You may sometimes feel that things are not going well and you need to tell someone who can help put things right.
You can contact the complaints officer in your local authority (sometimes called a customer relations officer).
You can also tell these people about anything that you think was good or helpful so they can make sure other young people get that help.
Designated Person in School
You should already have a designated person in school who is there to help and support you.
This could be a teacher or another person in the school. They are responsible for writing your Personal Educational Plan (PEP) and making sure that everything written in the plan happens. Your educational plan should help you to do the best you can in school.
You may decide to stay on at school after age 16, go to college, do more training, or get a job.
If you are carrying on with full time education your designated person needs to support you if you’re staying in the same school, or going to a new school or college.
You should have met a careers advisor in Year 9 at school.
Careers Wales can offer advice on your future – help with choosing courses, work and apprenticeships as well as learning, skills and qualification options after 16.
You may also have a Student Welfare Officer.
Many local authorities have agreements between social services and the housing department and have workers who are experts in sorting out housing for young people.
This might be a housing social worker or a housing officer in the local authority’s housing department with responsibility for young people.
Find out the name of the person responsible for helping you with your housing. If you don’t know, ask your social worker or personal advisor or ring your local housing department.
Some dentists offer treatment under the NHS, some offer private treatment and some offer a mixture of both.
When looking for a dentist it is worth trying to find an NHS dentist because it will be cheaper than using a private dentist but this can be difficult in some areas.