The Government White Paper "Care Matters: Time for Change" requires every Local Authority to create a pledge to all of its looked after children and young people.
Our care pledge is Gateshead's promise to work with and for looked after children and care leavers.
The promises in the pledge have come directly from consultation with our children and young people.
The pledge is part of Gateshead's commitment to give looked after children and care leavers the best opportunities they can have in life. It describes how we want to put them at the centre of everything we do.
We pledge to:
Look after you
- You will get your own social worker who is properly qualified to work with you
- We will make sure your social worker doesn't change unless there is a good reason for it, unless you want to change who your social worker is
- Your social worker will stay in touch regularly to check you are OK
- You will have a care plan which is all about you and your needs, and which is looked at regularly
Find the right place for you
- If it is part of your care plan for you to go back home we will make sure this happens as quickly and as safely as possible. We will check to make sure you are safe after you go home
- If you can't go home we will find the right place for you and make sure you live with people who care about you
- We will try to give you a choice about where you live and who you live with
- If we can we will find someone in your family who can care for you
- If we can we will keep you with your brothers and sisters
- We will help you keep in touch with your birth family wherever possible. If it's not possible we'll tell you why.
- We will take your feelings into account in decisions that affect you
- We will make sure you are fully involved in your reviews
- We will help you to have your say and listen to your views
- If you want to make a complaint we will provide you with access to an advocate to help you get your views across
Treat you right
- We won't talk about you to other people where its none of their business - unless we need to, to keep you or others safe
- We will always listen to you and treat you with respect
- We will explain what is going on in words you understand
Help you get a good education
- We will make sure you get a place at a good nursery or school
- We will make sure that you don't have to change schools wherever possible, especially in years 10 and 11
- There will be a designated teacher at your school to make sure you're doing OK - but they won't treat you differently to others
- We will let you know who your designated teacher is so you know where to go if you need help in school
- We will make sure you don't miss any school because of things happening in your life and help you get back on track with extra support if you fall behind
Keep you happy and healthy
- We'll make sure you get regular health-checks and if you need any treatment or support that you get it quickly
- We will work together with your school, carers and the health team to make sure all your health needs are met
- We'll make sure you have opportunities to do fun things, including free access to our leisure facilities, and give you opportunities to get to know other Looked After Children
- We'll help you find out about activities that are on so that you can get involved
- We will make sure you can keep going to activities you are involved in if you move placement
Help you get on in life
- We will give you the help you need when it's the right time for you to move on from care to find a place to live and learn to live on your own
- If you can't live on your own we'll make sure that choices are there for you after you are 18
- We will make sure you have enough money and help you learn to manage it well
- We will help you if you want to do an apprenticeship, go to college or university
- We'll help you get ready for the world of work, find a job or training placement and give you the chance to get work experience
If you would like more information about the pledge, please phone the Children's Rights Officer on 0191 433 2647.