The Pledge

The Pledge

The Children in Care Council team

What is Wokingham's Pledge?

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 means that Wokingham and other local authorities have to write down a list of promises to their children in care to make sure they are good corporate parents. This list is called Wokingham’s Pledge and was written by the Children in Care Council in consultation with other Children in Care and Care Leavers.

  • We will only promise you things we know we can do
  • We will be honest with you at all times
  • We promise to keep you safe 

We promise to:

 

Give you a home where you belong and:


  • Try and provide a placement of your choice
  • Give you information about any home you are moving to
  • Introduce you to carers beforehand, unless it is an emergency move, and have introductory visits
  • Fully involve you in plans made for your future promoting your
    involvement in planning meetings and reviews, providing you with all minutes and reports from meetings you attend
  • Help you understand your past and why you are in care, including doing life story work with you
  • Help you keep in contact with your family and friends providing a contact schedule that you will be given and if any contact with someone is not possible then give you a clear reason why
  • Help you build a photo album of important people in your life and places you have been while in Care and provide you with a 'treasure box' to keep all your special papers and possessions in 
  • Care and plan for you as an individual person involving you in decisions taking account of your particular needs, especially those relating to your age, interests, disability, race, culture, religion and sexuality
  • To ensure you have an up to date Care Plan
  • To ensure that when your social worker stops working with you they say a proper goodbye and whenever possible introduce you to your new social worker

We promise to:

Make sure you get an excellent education and:


  • Make sure that you have a place at a school that will help you do your best
  • To ensure you remain at the same school but, if this is not possible, to involve you in the choice of your new school
  • Take an active interest in what you do at school (e.g. attend parents' evenings)
  • Support you in your education plan and in subject/career options
  • Encourage and if necessary help you to do your homework
  • Celebrate your achievements
  • Provide you with a range of learning opportunities
  • Ensure every child in care or young person has access to a computer and safe access to the internet
  • Providing computers for children aged 11 years plus in full time education including those in further and/or higher education
  • Ensure we help you reach your potential with qualifications, training or courses to choose your future path
  • Ensure you have copies of school reports

We promise to:


Help you have a healthy lifestyle and:


  • Provide you with contact details for a named nurse specifically involved with Children in Care
  • Make sure you are registered at a doctor’s
  • Provide you with access to information on all health issues
  • Make sure you have regular dental and health check-ups
  • Point you towards specialist groups and drop-ins
  • Accompany you to appointments if you wish
  • Do everything possible to make sure you've got the skills and knowledge to keep yourself healthy and happy now and in the future

We promise to:


Ensure you have fun and:

 

  • Encourage you to take part in at least one leisure activity of your choice
  • Provide information on local activities and events
  • Support you to access sport and leisure facility
  • Help you record your achievements by providing an 'achievement folder' for every Child in Care
  • Take an active interest in your hobbies and celebrate your achievements
  • Involve you in activities/holidays with your carers
  • To give you the opportunity to go on a school holiday
  • Celebrate dates that are important to you including birthdays and religious festivals
We promise to:


Listen to and value your opinions and

 

  • If you have a disability make sure that you have your own 'communication passport'
  • Involve you in decisions and plans made about you and make sure you understand them
  • Make sure you are involved in your reviews
  • Offer you the opportunity to talk to your Independent Reviewing Officer before your review and give you their contact details
  • Offer you the opportunity to be involved in participation and consultation groups such as the Children in Care Council
  • Make sure you know who is responsible for you (including your corporate parents) and how to contact them
  • Give you a timely response to any enquiry or request
  • Make sure you have the opportunity to talk to your social worker alone every time he/she visits you and know how to contact them
  • We will make sure you know your rights and what services you're entitled to
  • You will have clear information and support about how to access all the help you need, including advocates, making complaints and contacting Directors of Childrens Services
  • We will be honest with you

 

We promise to:


Help and support you on the road to adulthood and:


  • Give you good preparation and planning for when you leave care, by providing information and advice, including drop-ins and groups
  • Ensure you have your national Insurance number by your 16th birthday
  • Find you work experience placements
  • Help you find and settle into a new home emotionally, financially, securely and safely
  • Help you access adult services if you need them
  • Ensure you have access to an NHS dentist
  • Make sure you can afford bills and rent if you are in low paid employment and support you in financial difficulties
  • Help you learn to drive and be confident in using public transport
  • Help you make the most of your chances for training, further education and employment, including identifying funding
  • We will make sure you have an up to date passport or understand the reasons why you don't
  • If you get in trouble with the police we will make sure that the right adult is there to offer you help
  • Ensure you have a detailed Pathway plan
  • Ensure you have a Personal Advisor from your 16th birthday

We don’t always get it right so if you think Wokingham is breaking

its promises, you can make your views known through:

o    The Children in Care Council

o    Regular reviews

o    Your Social Worker

o    The Children’s Rights Officer

o    A complaints procedure

  

Your social worker or carer can put you in contact with any of

them or help you with your complaint directly.

 

If you’re a bit nervous about saying it yourself, you can ask for someone else to help or even to do it for you – these are known as “advocates”.

 

In addition, the Children in care Council will be monitoring and reviewing the Pledge and they will let us know if they think we are not keeping our side of the bargain. Once a year, they will be suggesting changes to the Pledge if they think it’s necessary.

Every year the Children in Care Council send you a questionnaire to ask you about the pledges for Children in Care and Care Leavers so you can let us know if it's working for you.


You can find both questionnaires below:


 

You told us, 2 years ago, that there should be a separate Pledge for Care Leavers and so one was written. This year we told the Corporate Parenting Board which had senior managers and Councillors who run the Council on what you told us and for children in care we recommended: 

 

  1. That a further programme of Life story is commissioned for young people who have not received it or social workers are given specific time to do this work with young people
  2. That all managers are asked to ensure that social workers that are leaving have time to say goodbye to their clients and have done so, and wherever possible that they have introduced children to their new social workers  

For Care Leavers we recommended:


  1. That the expectations of the Personal Advisor role are more clearly defined by managers
  2. That all Care Leavers files have an up to date Genogram added to their files and these are shared with the Care Leaver
  3. That each care leaver is offered the opportunity to have an appointment with their Personal Advisor, in addition to their statutory visits, to specifically share any information the young person feels they need about their background
  4. All our recommendations were agreed so if you want anything from these points above you have the right to ask for them
  5. Look out for our next questionnaire about the Pledge coming to you later in the year