Living Away From Home
Being in care is another way of saying that you are living away from home. There are many reasons why you may not be able to live at home and so the local authority (Central Bedfordshire) has a responsibility to look after you and be your Corporate Parents. This can be a very confusing and worrying but we want to make your time in care safe and give you the opportunity to succeed.
Why am I living away from home?
There are different reasons why children live away from home and you should be told this reason. If you are not sure why you are looked after ask your social worker.
You may be looked after under a Section 31 Care Order, which means the court has made the decision for you to be looked after. Your parents will have joint parental responsibility for you.
If you are looked after under Section 20, this means that your parents have agreed for you to be accommodated, your parents will still have parental responsibility for you.
Moving away from home or to a new placement can be scary, before you move it is hoped that you will have the chance to meet the people you will be living with.
The Children in Care Council have thought of some questions you may want to ask:-
1. Who else lives in the house?
2. Will I need to change schools?
3. Can I continue with my hobbies?
4. When will I see my family and friends?
5. Do you have house rules written out?
6. What are the rules with regards to using the phone / computer?
When you first move to your new home, your carers / key workers will do all they can to settle you in, let the carers know what they can do to help you settle in to the new home. You may want to write a list of what you like and dislike.
‘When I first moved into a new home, I wanted to have some time on my own. I would tell the foster carers that I would like some time on my own, it saved them from keep asking ‘do you want a drink, are you ok?’ I would then join them when I was ready’ Care Leaver Aged 22.
When you come into care there are lots of people who work together to make sure that you are happy, safe and able to achieve. You will be allocated an IRO (Independent Reviewing Officer) who will chair your review meeting and will check that the local authority is doing what it should be doing and will ask you about your wishes and feelings.
Once you reach 16, depending on how long you have been in care, you maybe entitled to a leaving care service. If you do have any questions on leaving care, speak to your social worker.