Here is a list to help you to understand who people are that you might come into contact with when you are in care:
Wirral Adoption Service recruits, checks and trains adopters, finds families for children, and helps families before and after adoption.
This is someone who can say the things you want to say, for you. Advocates are there to make sure you are listened to and you are involved in decisions being made about your life. Call Fiona O’Shaughnessy on 0151 678 1936.
The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) looks after children who are involved in family court proceedings. CAFCASS officers have lots of experience working with children and families and may ask you about your feelings.
The main adult who is responsible for looking after you. This is usually either your foster carer or key worker if you live in a children’s home.
Children with Disabilities Team
This team includes social workers, family support workers, psychologists and occupational therapists who all work with children aged 0-16 who have significant disabilities. They provide additional support to these children and their families to help them achieve their full potential before passing over to the Transition Services Team.
If the courts are deciding where you should live and who with, the Children’s Guardian may be asked to help the court to make decisions. They speak to you about what you think should happen and how you feel, then write a report to take to court.
When you are looked after there will be a teacher in your school who has responsibility for you. They will tell your social worker how you are getting on at school and do your PEP (Personal Education Plan) with you.
The complaints officer can help if you are not happy about something to do with your care. They can help you decide what you want to do and how you want to do things. You can also talk to the complaints officer about how services can be better and share your experiences of services you have received.
Young people may have a CAMHS worker to help them if they are worried, upset or angry. They are specially trained to help with behaviour, thoughts and feelings that can become difficult to cope with.
Family Support Worker
FSWs work with young people and their parents to help make things in their care plan happen.
The Fostering Team find people to care for young people who can’t live at home. They look for the best people to look after you. They make sure the foster carers and their homes are safe and suitable for looking after children. They make sure foster carers listen to you and make sure your wishes are known. You can call the Fostering Team on 666 4616 or email email@example.com to tell them anything about being in foster care.
Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
IROs make sure you have your say and that any decisions made are the best ones for you. They organise review meetings for children who are looked after or in care and talk to you before to make sure everything that is important gets talked about. They make sure your care plans meet your needs and that everyone involved in your care is doing what they are supposed to do.
Independent Visitor Service (IV)
The IV service pairs young people in care up with adults who can give help and support or just a listening ear. Your IV will get to know you and spend time with you regularly doing things you like.
Ofsted inspect Children’s Services regularly to make sure people are doing their jobs properly and find areas to make things better.
Your key worker in a residential home is like a foster carer, they will get to know you and you can ask them for help and advice.
Leaving Care Team
The leaving care team works with young people aged 16-24 who are, or who have been looked after by Wirral Council. They help you make your Pathway Plan and needs assessment which lists what needs to be done before you leave care.
Your named nurse looks after your health and how you feel. They can give you support about healthy eating, your body, relationships, keeping safe and how you feel. They meet with you to put together your health care plan and agree who will help with this.
Participation and Engagement Team
The participation and engagement service aims to make sure children looked after and young people have a voice in decisions that are made about them and contribute towards the development of the children and young people’s department.
Practice Team Manager
A practice team manager is in charge of a team of social workers and makes decisions about what to do next. They listen to the social workers and make sure they are doing everything that needs to be done to keep children and young people safe.
At the age of 16 you will meet your personal advisor. They will give you support and advice and help you plan the next stage of your life.
Residential Workers (disabilities)
The residential short breaks service gives support to young people aged 8-17 with complex health and learning disabilities. The service is provided in a 9 bedroomed children’s home which offers various levels of support. Residential childcare officers work closely with young people and their families to understand the young person’s needs and support them throughout their stay.
A social worker meets with children and their families when people are worried that there are problems at home. They work out a plan to make things better. If you are in care they will visit you regularly to make sure you are happy where you are and answer any questions you may have.
Supervising Social Worker
Supervising social workers listen to your foster carers and make sure they have the right skills and information to look after you. If you move foster homes they find you the right home and help your carers.
Transition Services Team
The Transition Services Team helps young people aged 14-25 who have a learning difficulty or disability. They help young people with these disabilities achieve their full potential by giving them and their families extra support which can continue into their adult life.
Transition Social Worker
Social workers in the Transition Services Team assess the young person’s needs and the support they and their family require. This can include short breaks or Direct Payments to help pay for a support worker, to attend an activity or perhaps help in their home. They work with young people aged around 16 and will assess what support they will need when they become an adult.
Virtual Head Teacher
Your virtual school head teacher is the person in charge of education for children in care in Wirral. They aren’t based at one school and visit all of them – that’s why they are called virtual.