While you're in care, you'll be supported by professionals whose job it is to keep you happy and healthy.
To help you understand their role and what they do for you, we've created a 'who's who'.
Click on the job titles below to find out what they mean.
This person helps you get information about your rights and makes sure your views are heard in meetings. They will listen to what you have to say and will only do what you ask.
Contact the Essex Advocacy Service (run by the children’s charity, Barnardo's):
When you become ‘looked after’, Essex County Council becomes your ‘Corporate Parent’.
Professionals like your social worker are expected to look after you and to do things to keep you safe and happy.
A nurse who works with looked after children to help keep them healthy.
In your school there will be someone called a Designated Teacher who is responsible for children in care. They know about working with young people like you and the difficulties you might experience when living in care.
This is someone from family support services who visits families at home. They keep things settled and happy by helping to solve problems.
Members of the public who choose to look after children who aren’t their own. They are trained professionals and get paid to do this.
Social workers try to match children with a carer who they think they’d get along with.
Doctors, nurses, consultants, therapists, psychologists and other qualified staff who provide medical care or information. Their job it is to make sure that children and young people are healthy and well.
When you are in care you’ll have meetings with someone called an Independent Reviewing Officer. It’s their job to listen to you and to make sure your care plan is working for you. They will chair your review meeting.
A volunteer who will take you out about once a month to do things you enjoy. They are not social workers or foster carers.
Every child or young person who lives in a children's home will have a keyworker. It’s the keyworker’s job to make sure that the Care Plan is being followed and that the young person is happy and settled.
When you turn 17 you’ll get support from someone called a Personal Advisor. They’re part of the Leaving and After Care Team and will continue to support you until you’re 21 (or 25 if you stay in education).
They will help you with your work or education, finding a home, budgeting and anything else you might need to know.
Your social worker is responsible for making sure you are happy and well.
They will visit you every 4-6 weeks. If you move into a new placement they will visit you every week for the first month to make sure you are getting on well. They will also come to any important meetings to make sure things are ok.
Supervising social workers support foster carers to help you. They visit regularly to see how things are going and make sure that the family home is a good and safe place to live in.
This professional can support you to overcome education or careers issues.