Our offer

Take a look at our leaving care offer below and find out about what entitlements and support are available to you. If you would like to speak to someone about your offer, then contact your personal advisor or get in touch!

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Our leaving care offer

Being a Care Leaver

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Care Leavers

Our legal responsibilities

The aim of the Leaving Care Services is to support care leavers so that they can live successful independent lives. Each care leaver will reach that point at a different age and there should be no assumption that all care leavers will require statutory support until up to age 25. Although each young person will be different, it would be expected that support for care leavers will taper away over time, in recognition of their growing maturity and independence:


Care leaver status definitions

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West Sussex Support to Care Leavers

We want to support you to think big, aim high and have aspirational goals; to be happy, safe, and live a healthy lifestyle. We want to make sure your journey to becoming an independent adult works for you and you get all the support you need. At 18 you become an adult and your status changes, and it’s important you know what your rights and entitlements are so you know how we can and should help you. We will work with you to prepare you for this and support you after 18, with every care leaver being supported until 21 and up to 25 if you wish. We know becoming an adult can be hard, we know you may not always get it right first time, that is fine, we will keep supporting you to achieve your goals and become the independent adult we know you can be.

What our care leavers say

Quotes from Feedback gathered by Care Leaver Advisory Board- September 2021 and Care Leavers and Personal Advisor Services

‘I think it’s helping me become more independent and able to manage things on my own’

‘I faced being homeless because of my mental health and my PA has supported me through it in helping me find a flat’.

‘I felt a lack of support moving prior to me being allocated my new PA’

‘Due to the pandemic Covid 19 everyone had struggled, the most support that I have received from care leaver/leaving care were emotionally, mentally and psychologically. I felt alive, strong, ambitious and powerful!’


Who Supports You

Who supports you to leave care?

You can find out more about the people who will support you in ‘Relationships – Who supports you and how:


What is an advocate?

An advocate is an independent person who helps you speak up for yourself. They also give advice, make you aware of your rights, listen to you and represent your views, wishes and feelings. An advocate will support you so that you can have your say about the care and services you receive. Advocacy flyer (PDF, 1.8MB)

You can get an advocate if you are a:

What can an advocate help with?

An advocate can help you when:

What happens when you meet your advocate?

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How to request advocacy

If you would like to request help from an advocate you can complete the online form. Please note: We cannot guarantee availability of advocates to attend meetings where less than five working days notice has been provided. Please give as much notice as possible.

Since COVID-19, the team have worked virtually (phone calls, video calls, texts and voice notes), as many young people have preferred this. However, please ask if a face to face meeting is needed. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can contact the team.

Read more

Contact the Advocacy Team:

Email: AdvocacyService@westsussex.gov.uk
Tel: 033 022 28686  

Local Offer

All local authorities must publish up-to-date information about the services it offers for care leavers and other services which may assist care leavers in, or preparing for, adulthood and independent living. The local offer should cover health and well-being; relationships; education and training; employment; accommodation; participation in society. This information should also include how relevant services that can be accessed by its partner agencies and include District Councils where relevant.


Your Support By Age

Contacting the Leaving Care Team

Contacting your Personal Advisor

When you first meet your PA, they will provide you with their telephone contact details. They will also provide you with their email address. Your PA will let you know the days they work and their working hours. If they are on leave, they will put a message on their phones and email alerts to notify you they are off and when they will be back.

If your PA is not available when you call, they may be in a meeting or driving. Please leave a message and they will call you back as soon as they can. This may not always be in the same working day, but they will do their best.

Care Leavers Duty Line

If your PA is off work, or you cannot reach them and the matter is urgent, the Care Leavers Service has a duty line. Our duty service is run Monday to Friday between 9-5pm. The number for this service is: 033 022 22004. You can also email the service on: LeavingCareService@Westsussex.gov.uk 

The duty line is manned by PA’s from the Care Leavers team. The duty workers will be able to help you, but they may need to ask you some questions or make enquiries on your behalf. Managers are also available should you need to speak to one. If you do, you can ask the duty worker for a manager to call you.

Our Emergency Duty Team (EDT) is here for you outside of office hours. The EDT work between the hours of 5pm & 9am, 7 days a week. They are there to respond to emergency situations that will not wait until the next working day.  They can be contacted on 0330 222 6664 

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How to access your records

Before you access your records, Voice and Participation team and Care Leavers Team have put together guidance on how you can access your records and this includes frequently asked questions and advice from care leavers who have done this. This may help you to think through what records you would like to access and when may be the best time for you to do this.

The easiest way is to use the online form which can be found at:- https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/data-protection/accessing-your-personal-data/ This form allows you to say which records you want to access and provide the identification necessary for the request to be processed.
Applications can also be made on paper using the standard form, which should be sent to Data Protection Team, Ground Floor, Northleigh, County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RQ.

Requests for adoption records are handled by the Special Guardianship and Adoption Support Team as different rules apply to the disclosure of these documents. Please see:- https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/adoption-and-fostering/adoption-records/ for more information on this team.

How to complain

If maybe you want to make a complaint or make a compliment about the service you have received. If you want to make a complaint, remember you can talk to your Social Worker, PA, advocate or any other professional to help you.

If you want to do this yourself, you can contact the complaints department by:
Submit a complaint/appeal online – feedback@westsussex.gov.uk
Tel: 01243 777100

If you require an interpreter to help you make a complaint call 01243 777100 and ask to use the Telephone Interpreting Service.

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Corporate Parenting

Corporate Parenting Principles

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 set out seven principles for Corporate Parenting:

  • To act in the best interests, and promote the physical and mental health and well-being, of those children and young people;
  • To encourage those children and young people to express their views, wishes and feelings;
  • To take into account the views, wishes and feelings of those children and young people;
  • To help those children and young people gain access to, and make the best use of, services provided by the local authority and its relevant partners;
  • To promote high aspirations, and seek to secure the best outcomes, for those children and young people;
  • For those children and young people to be safe, and for stability in their home lives, relationships and education or work; and
  • To prepare those children and young people for adulthood and independent living.
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