On this page, we have tried to include all the key roles of people who may be involved in looking after your needs and welfare while you are in care. Not all of these may be involved in your case, but they are all working hard for you, or others like you but with different needs.
You will have a social worker who will make a plan with you until you are an adult. This is to make sure you have a safe and settled future.
Your social worker is there to listen to what you have to say, and they will help you be a part of making decisions about where you live. They will explain why, when and how things will happen. They will visit you to make sure you are doing ok and the plan we put in place is helping you.
A Personal Advisor provides advice and support to you from the age of 17 into adulthood (up to 25 if still in education or 21 if not). Your Social worker prepares your Pathway Plan which re[paces your Care Plan when you are 16 and which your PA takes over when you are 18 and makes sure that your voice is heard, and your views are considered at every review. Your PA keeps in regular contact with you and works with you to help you reach your full potential. They will help you find appropriate accommodation, employment, education or training and to learn life skills such as cleaning, cooking, shopping and budgeting. Your PA is always on hand to offer advocacy, negotiation and will work with other agencies and colleagues to ensure your needs are met.
This is somebody whose job it is to make sure you are part of decisions being made for you and that you have a say about what is going on for you. An advocate can help you with meetings, make a complaint for you or just sort out something out that is important to you. They can also help you make sure your feelings and wishes are heard at meetings; they will listen to you and they will help you talk to people and make sure you feel safe when you do.
This is someone at school who has the job of making sure that children looked after in the school are doing okay and that they are getting on well. If you are looked after and you are not sure who the designated teacher is at your school or college, then you could ask your form tutor or get in touch with the ‘Virtual School’.
Foster carers are members of the public who choose to look after children who are not their own. They are trained professionals and get paid to do this, and they are self-employed. Foster carers come from all different backgrounds and are different ages with different levels of experience. Social workers try to match children with a carer who they think they would get along with. They have their own social worker called a Supervising Social Worker who makes sure they are doing what they need to do in their role as your foster carer.
If you do not see your family very often, then you can have someone called an independent visitor, or IV, to come and see you. They will be there for you to talk to about things, they might take you out to places and give you help and advice. The Information for children and young people about independent visitors leaflet from NYAS will tell you more. https://www.nyas.net/
IRO – Independent Reviewing Officer
Your IRO oversees your Care Plan or Pathway Plan and chairs your Reviews. This is the person who checks to see your social worker is doing what he/she said they were going to do, who can ask for changes to be made to your plan and who will try to make sure that you know what is happening. If you do not know who your IRO is, you should ask your key worker, foster carer or social worker.
Every child or young person who lives in a residential unit has a key worker and it’s the key worker’s job to make sure that the care plan is being followed and that you’re happy and settled where you’re living.
The specialist nurses are part of a health team who organise health assessments for children and young people. They can also offer support and advice about your health.
Family and Friends carers
These are people you may know, who may be related to you and have agreed to care for you either for a short period of time or until you are an adult. They will also have a social worker and will be assessed by this social worker to make sure they can meet all of your needs and offer you a permanent home.
Supervising Social worker
Tis a social worker who works with your carer whether that be a foster carer or a family and friends’ carer. This is to ensure the placement and the carer is doing all they can to make sure you are safe, happy and healthy.
Children Social Care Teams in Wokingham
Each social worker works for a specific team in Wokingham. There are 12 teams:
Duty, Triage and Assessment
This is sometimes called the “front door” because this is where all the contacts from the public, other professionals and sometimes young people, go first.
Conifers, Ambleside and Brambles
These three teams are sometimes known as the long term teams or community teams. They are the teams that hold the cases that come from DTA. They can work with lots of young people and will be part of the start of any young person’s journey through care. The social workers work with young people who are subject to a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are in foster care.
Children with Disabilities
This is the team that works specifically with children and young people who have additional needs and/or disabilities. The social workers work with cases where children and young people are subject to child in need plans, child protection plans, receive short breaks or who do not live at home and live in residential placements or foster placements.
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This is the team that works with young people in care and care leavers. It’s made up of social workers and Personal Advisors. The social workers work with young people who have had their final care plan agreed and live in foster placements, residential placements, with family or friends. They help the young person work towards independence and “leaving Care” and the personal advisors come on board at age 17 and remain involved until the young person is 25.
The Transitions Team work under Adult Services but work with 14 to 25 year olds if there is a transition need and the young person meets Care Act criteria after a referral to the service. The team can attend EHCP meetings and annual reviews from 14 years old and when young people are 17 or 17 ½ the team completes a self directed assessment in order to establish eligibility for care act support and then sign post to services for input where required. The team’s main aim is to promote independence skills, support with direct payments, or supported living, where required and consider if specialist placements are needed. The team works with the Commissioning Team, SEND and CHC when required with complex health needs.
Family Placement Team
Family Placement Team – this is the team, made up of social workers, that work with foster carers and family and friends carers. They support placements by supporting carers and are involved in matching young people with placements when needed.
Family Resource Team
This team supports the social work teams with things such as supervised contact: where children in care have contact with parents and family but need that little bit more support.
This is the short break service for young people with additional needs. It is a fun place to visit and stay and young people have allocated times there according to their needs. It enables parents and carers to have some respite if needed.
The Compass Team is a newly established service comprising of a Team Manager, 3 Compass Team Workers and a Compass Team Psychologist. The Team sits within Children’s Social Care at Shute End Offices.
The Compass Team work alongside Allocated Social Workers to support Children in Care and families that are subject to Child Protection or Child in Need Plans to try to avoid family or placement breakdown, stabilise placements and promote reunification. We take a trauma informed approach and utilise systemic principles in our work.
New referrals should be directed to Jasmine Grimshaw. For general enquiries please contact a member of the team.
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SAFEGUARDING TEAM
This team is where the IRO’s / CP chairs sit. They are supported by two admin teams Child in Care Admin and Child Protection Admin.