Care leavers - Help and support

If you are a care leaver under 25 and are not currently engaged with the service we recognise that there may be times when you need some help and support. This might be something small and quick, or may take a bit more time to help you work through. You have the right to an ongoing service. The level of support will be linked to the level of your needs and how we agree together we can help. The first think to do is to make contact. You can call into the office and set up an appointment to discuss this or contact your local office by email or phone.

Process for Care Leaver support (PDF 424kb)

We recognise that things do not always go right and sometimes you may need support from a person that is not your social worker or personal advisor. You can access the support of a National Youth Advocacy Service advocate if you feel you need help to get your views across or you feel like you are not being listened to. Advocacy is about supporting you to make sure that your rights are respected and your views & wishes are heard.

An advocate can provide support by:

  • giving you an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent;
  • being with you when you have appointments or meetings;
  • speaking up for you, if you want them to;
  • giving you information about the different ways that you can raise your concerns;
  • helping you to think about what you would like to achieve or want to change.

You can request an advocate from your personal advisor or by calling the National Youth Advocacy Service helpline on 0808 808 1001. You can also access lots

of information about advocacy support by visiting the National Youth Advocacy Service website. 

Like all other young people, we recognise that you will want to learn to drive, as this will give you independence and will help you to access learning and training opportunities. We can help you access the following opportunities:

Theory Test: If you're in Education, Employment or Training we will fund one attempt at your theory test.

Practical Test: If you're in Education, Employment or Training we will fund up to ten driving lessons as you continue to purchase them. We will also fund one attempt at your practical driving test.

You will need to speak to your personal advisor to access support with learning to drive.

No one should feel ashamed of their sexuality or hide their orientation from anyone. We want you to feel proud and accept who you are, however we recognise that this isn't always easy and people can react in different ways.  You should never feel alone if you are confused about your sexuality or are unsure of your feelings. The following services and centres currently operate across Cumbria:

Cumbria wide

Carlisle/North Cumbria

Barrow

Kendal

  • Kendal LGBT Social Group - Social group in Kendal, meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm to 9.30pm
    kendallgbt@gmail.com

West Cumbria

  • Always Another Way - Support services and drop-ins in West Cumbria
  • Silloth Pride - Pride event taking place on Silloth Green, Saturday 29 June 2019

National Citizen Service is a nationally recognised programme that will help you build new skills for work and life. Completing a National Citizen Service programme will also look great on a job application or application to further study. Further information can be found here:

https://www.inspira.org.uk/national-citizen-service-programme

As long as you are over the age of eighteen you have the democratic right to vote in an election in your local area or in a national election such as the general election or a referendum. However you have to register with your local District Council to ensure you are eligible to vote, once you have registered to vote your relevant District Council will send you information about relevant votes that are coming up. However, if you change your name, address or nationality you will have to register again. Your Personal Advisor will be able to help you if you are unsure.

District AreaRelevant Council
AllerdaleAllerdale Borough Council
Barrow-in-FurnessBarrow Borough Council
CarlisleCarlisle City Council
CopelandCopeland Borough Council
EdenEden District Council
South LakelandSouth Lakeland District Council

You will be able to find information about voting on your relevant District Council's website.

(Available for Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers) - Identity documents are important tools which you will have to use in many different parts of your life. This includes setting up bank accounts, going on holiday or applying for a job as examples. We will support you by supplying you with the following:

  • Passport - (up to the age of 21);
  • A driving license; 
  • Copies of your birth certificate (up to two copies).

We will keep copies of these documents and keep these safe for you, however, at certain times you will need the original documents, for example, when you set up a bank account. Once we have given you your documents, it is your responsibility to keep them safe and if you lose them, you will have to pay for replacements. If you do not have a safe place to store your documents speak to your personal advisor and we will look after them for you.

You have the right to access your social care records by law. If you want to access your records or you have a question about your time as a looked after child we recommend that you speak to your personal advisor first who should be able to answer your questions or arrange for you to speak to someone who can. If you want to access your records they will be able to support you to do this. We recommend going through your personal advisor as they will be able to provide you with any support that you may need whilst going through this process as some people can find this experience difficult and emotionally challenging.

If you would like to request access to your records independent of your personal advisor, you can do so by submitting a subject access request. You can do so by visiting the Information Governance pages on the County Council's website.

The need to travel is an everyday part of life, for work, your studies or accessing social events just as a few examples. Although a car may seem like the best option, they can be expensive to buy and run. You could consider the following options instead:

  • Can you walk or bike - this is a cheaper option and is good for your health;
  • Have you considered getting a rail card - Trains travel right across Cumbria and you can get a 16-25 railcard which will give you 1/3 off the cost of your ticket. These can be purchased from all train stations;
  • Can you get an annual, monthly or weekly bus pass - this will mean you do not have to pay everyday which can be more expensive.