The Children, Young People and Families 18+ Care Leavers Service provides support and resources to young people aged 18-21 who have been in local authority care. This can be extended to age 25 where young people over 21 return to children’s services to ask for support with education plans. Young people in care aged 0-18 have a social worker with the Children in Care team who is responsible for planning for their care and support needs. The 18+ Service works alongside young people’s social workers to advise them on what is available and then will be introduced to the young person in order to take responsibility for support to them when they reach 18. Each young person will have a named Aftercare Adviser. Some parts of the country provide this through organisations such as charities. Birmingham has a specialist team, the 18+ Service which has a Team Manager and 28 staff.
The 18+ Service fully supports the Care Leavers Charter standards for work with young people.
Role of the Aftercare Adviser
- To be knowledgeable about the law covering entitlements for care leavers
- To understand the needs of young people and the problems they may face
- To know about services such as health and housing provision
- To work jointly with young people’s carers and other professionals
- To put the young person’s Pathway Plan into action and make sure it is up to date
- To provide advice and information to the young person about what support is available, about what skills they need to manage being independent, about managing their money, about housing options, about education training and employment, about general health, and to enable the young person to make their own decisions
- To work with others to co-ordinate support under the Pathway Plan
- To talk to the young person about their Pathway Plan and respect their wishes and views, while ensuring that the Pathway Plan is realistic
- To take part in reviewing the Pathway Plan
- To ensure services and resources are found and provided to support the young person and that the young person is able to make use of the support
- To keep up to date with others involved as to the young person’s progress
- To keep up to date records of what they do that are accurate
- To access and co-ordinate support to the young person including suitable accommodation and financial support as appropriate
- To keep in touch with the young person and visit regularly
The 18+ Service is working in partnership with city council departments such as Housing, and Development, to provide good quality services for young people, including access to safe and suitable places to live, and to opportunities in employment and training. We have links with Training and Education providers including Fairbridge, The Prince’s Trust, South Birmingham College, Aston University and Pertemps. Young people have this year enjoyed work experience in Germany with the Marriott Hotel group through a good partnership arrangement. We work closely with St Basil’s Centre, a major youth charity in Birmingham, to provide access to supportive accommodation that meets young people’s needs until they are ready to move on to their own tenancy.
Contacting Birmingham 18+ Service
- By post – to 18+ Service, PO Box 16378, Birmingham B2 2AH
- Office location – 18+ Service, Tamebridge House, Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2 TX (no public access)
- At our drop in service – New Aston House, Alma Street, Newtown, Birmingham B19 2RL – our opening hours are 8.45 to 5.15 (Mon to Thursday), 8.45 to 4.15 (Fridays) To call the duty service please use 0121 464 1229 – you are welcome during the hours we are open
- By phone – to our duty service 0121 464 1229