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Living in care

Living in care is when you live away from your parents. It could be because your parents aren't able to look after you or because the courts decided it's not safe for you to live at home. You'll only go in to care if there's no other way to make sure you're safe and properly looked after at home.

Where you'll live

When you come in to care you could live:

  • with someone else in your family such as a grandparent, brother or sister, uncle or aunt
  • in a foster home where you'll live with the foster carer as part of their family
  • in a children's home where you'll live with other children and care workers who'll look after you

If you have brothers and sisters we'll try and find somewhere where you can live together.

You can also take some of your things with you when you go in to care. You can speak to your social worker about what you'd like to take with you.

Seeing your family and friends

You should still be able to see your family and friends, unless it's not safe. You can also chat with them on the phone or skype, email them, link with them on Facebook or other social media, or write to them or draw pictures for them.

If you want to stay with friends your social worker will check if it's a safe place for you to stay.

Going to school

If you're being looked after in the same area you can probably stay at the same school. But if you're being cared for somewhere different, which is too far away from your old school, you may have to move to a different school.

Our promises to you

We talked to children in care and together we came up with this list that we promise to stick to. We will:

treat you with respect
  • Celebrate your successes
  • Only talk to other people about you if it's to do with keeping you or others safe
  • Always listen to you and treat you with respect and fairness
  • Explain what's going on in words you understand
look after you
  • Explain why you're in care and help you make happy memories
  • Help you to stay in contact with your family and friends safely
  • Help you to go back home if it's safe
  • Keep you safe when you leave our care
  • Make sure you have your own properly qualified social worker or personal advisor
  • Make sure your social worker or personal advisor doesn't change wherever possible
  • Make sure your social worker or personal advisor stays in touch with you
  • Look at and make changes to your care plan - which is all about you and your needs
find the right place for you
  • Make sure you live with people who care about you if you can't go home
  • Try and find someone in your family who you can live with
  • Try and make sure you live as close as is safely possible to family and friends
  • Try and make sure you can live with your brothers and sisters
  • Make sure you're happy where you live until you're ready to move on
  • Not change where you live without good reasons, which we'll explain to you

  • Ask you for your views on where you're living

help you get a good education
  • Listen to your views on where you want to go to school or college
  • Make sure you get a good place at nursery, school or college as close to where you live as possible
  • Not move you to a different school if possible, especially in years 10 and 11
  • Link you with a teacher in school who'll make sure you're alright
  • Arrange meetings at times so you don't miss school
  • Make sure you have the technology and school equipment you need and a quiet space to do your work
keep you happy and healthy
  • Give you the chance to have fun such as leisure activities
  • Help you find new activities
  • Make sure you can keep going to these activities even if you move
  • Help you make and keep new friends
  • Help you to stay healthy with things like regular dentist check-ups, and access other health services
  • Help you to cope with your feelings and support your emotional wellbeing
help you get on in life
  • Make plans with you (pathway plan) so when you're 16 we all know what your next steps are
  • Support you in your move from being in care to independent living
  • Make sure that you have choices if you can't live independently after you're 18
  • Show you how to budget and look after your money
  • Help you apply for an apprenticeship, college or university
  • Make sure you have the chance to get some work experience to prepare you for the world of work
  • Give you information and support to be successful in the future