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Information and Advice

What is a ‘Care Leaver’?

A care leaver is a young person who has been looked after by Rhondda Cynon Taf for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, and who was in care on their 16th birthday.

What is the 16+ Service?

Finding your way in life can be difficult, particularly if you are a young person moving into independence. It can be an exciting, yet scary time, so Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have a service called ‘16+’ which will support you to make sure this change is as smooth as possible.

We will work with young people aged 16-21 (or in some cases, up to the age of 25) who have been looked after by Rhondda Cynon Taf.

It is our job to support you and to help you think about what you can do to get ready to live on your own once you are no longer looked after by Rhondda Cynon Taf.

What Support Can We Offer?

We can offer support on a range of things including housing, money, training, relationships, health, and wellbeing. We can help you:

  • Prepare for independent living,
  • Find work or start a training course,
  • Make the change from care into your own home (when you are ready)
  • Plan for the unexpected,
  • Achieve your goals and ambitions,
  • Organise your finances.

What is a Personal Advisor?

A Personal Advisor will help you to plan for your future and support you in achieving your goals. Your Personal Advisor will work closely with you once you turn 16, making sure your Pathway Plan is realistic and continues to meet your needs. Your Personal Advisor should ensure that your Pathway Plan is reviewed regularly, ensure that you are receiving the support you need, and stay in touch with you on your journey into adulthood.

What is a Pathway Plan?

When you are referred to the 16+ Service, an assessment of your needs will be carried out, which includes a visit and discussion with you about your ideas for your future, what you want to happen, and your strengths, needs, wishes, and feelings. The needs assessment will outline what you need and how you will be supported to meet your needs. This may include information, advice, or assistance, which may be, practical, financial, and emotional. The information we collect will help to form a Pathway Plan. The needs assessment will include information on:

  • Your needs
  • Your strengths
  • Your outcomes or goals

You and your Social Worker will gather the information on your needs assessment, which will then be used to form your Pathway Plan. You will receive a copy of this plan, and you will have this plan until you are 21 (or 25 if you are in further education or training).

Your Pathway Plan is a document that sets out the different steps to achieve your ambitions, and the support needed to help you become independent. Your wishes and goals for the future, for example where you want to live, and whether you will continue in education or find a job, should be at the heart of your Pathway Plan. The plan also includes information on:

  • The different types of suitable accommodation,
  • What financial support you can get (money)
  • What personal support you will be offered,
  • Programmes to develop skills ready for independent living,
  • Your identity,
  • Your employment, education, or training opportunities,
  • Contact with your family,
  • Your health needs,
  • A backup plan (‘Plan B’) in case things don’t go as planned.

You and your Social Worker will update your Pathway Plan, and you will get a copy of this. You will have this plan until you are 21 (or 25 if you are in further education or training).