While you're in care, you may hear words and phrases that you don't understand.
Click on the terms below to find out what they mean.
Professionals will meet with you to find out about your needs, any problems you are having and what can be done to help you and your family. There are lots of types of assessment.
This may be part of your Care Plan.
It tells people that work with you how they should reward your good behaviour and how to deal with challenging behaviour.
Doing what’s best for you to keep you safe, happy and healthy.
Your social worker should always be working towards your best interests, and they are very important to the court when they are making decisions about you.
A young person who is about to leave care, or an adult who has left care.
You officially leave care when you’re 18 and become an adult, but care leavers are counted from the age of 16.
This is given when a judge is convinced that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm if he or she does not become 'looked after'.
CAFCASS social workers are called ‘Family Court Advisers.’ Their job is to speak for you in the family courts. They give advice to the court, work to keep you safe, look after your wellbeing and provide information, support and advice to families. The Children’s Guardian works for CAFCASS.
This is the most important law about children who are looked after by local authorities in England and Wales. It describes in a lot of detail what local authorities must do when they plan and review the care of young people they look after.
The Essex Children in Care Council (CiCC) is a group of children and young people cared for by Essex County Council. They work with decision makers to improve the services that children in care receive.
Anything that is said in your meetings or kept on your file will only be shown to people that need to know the information.
This is when you are asked your opinion about something to do with being a child or young person in care.
Your views are really important and helps us to understand how well we’re managing the services that affect you.
Seeing people you are related to or know very well.
Most people want to see their family whenever they can. Your social worker will either arrange supervised contact, where they go with you, or unsupervised, when you are dropped off and picked up at a set time.
You may hear this said at a meeting. It means the back-up plan. It’s something the adults have decided will happen if the main plan doesn’t quite work.
This looks at all of your needs across education, health and care.
Professionals from each area, along with your parents and carers, will look at the outcomes you want to achieve, what support you need to achieve them and how that support will be paid for.
If progress isn’t being made an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment will be done.
This is granted when something significant has happened and you have had to leave your home straight away. This means you will have been taken into care under an Emergency Protection Order which will last for up to 8 days.
This is when you are placed with a foster carer or in a care home. It can be short or long-term depending on the reasons for you being taken into care.
Sometimes emergencies happen and social workers need to have places they can take children to in the middle of the night. This is called an emergency foster placement. These usually last a few days while people try and solve the original problem.
Money that a foster carer is paid for looking after a child or young person.
Working towards living on your own without adults around to look after you. This can involve learning new skills such as managing money or cooking.
When you are being looked after by a member of your family, not your parents, and you’re supported by the County Council.
This could be your grandparents, older brothers and sisters or aunts and uncles.
This is another name for a council. It can mean the whole council or just one part of it.
Essex County Council is the local authority that looks after you.
‘Looked after child’ is the name given to all children and young people that Essex County Council has some sort of responsibility for.
It can sometimes include children and young people who are still living at home.
This meeting is usually just called your ‘Review’.
It's a meeting that you can attend and is where your Care Plan is reviewed to make sure that all your needs are being met.
Notes taken during a meeting so that there is a written copy of everything that is said and who said it.
You should get copies of the minutes of any meeting (such as your CIC review) that you were in.
If you’ve been placed in another county you’re still the responsibility of Essex County Council and have all the same rights as a child or young person in care in Essex.
Getting involved in decision-making to shape the services that affect you.
This is drawn up around the time of your 15th birthday and is about your future independence and what you are going to do after you leave care.
This is made after you come into care and is the way that your social worker plans to give you a sense of stability.
The place where you are living is called your placement.
If you are going to return to your birth parents, a Placement with Parents arrangement is made and monitored.
When you are looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility.
Private foster carers could be a friend of your family.
How well you cope with stress and change, and how quickly you can adapt to new challenges, learn to cope and succeed.
This is a document written by social workers and people who work with children and young people. It talks about any possible dangers and what steps have been taken to reduce danger.
This is where a young person who has been living in foster care remains in the foster home after the age of 18.
This isn’t a real school, but is a record of all of the looked after children in Essex who are at nursery, school or college.
Virtual School staff are there to help things to go as smoothly as possible. They also keep track of how all looked after children in education are making progress and achieving.