Becoming looked after, or being in care means that Rhondda Cynon Taf Childrens Services are responsible for deciding who looks after you and where you live.
You might become looked after because people were worried about your safety.
Your social worker will speak to you and your family about where you will live, go to school and how to help you to keep in touch with the people that are important to you. You should always be included in these decisions about your life.
If you feel you are not being listened to you can speak to an adult you trust, your social worker, your Independent Reviewing Officer or an advocate.
How Did I Become Looked After?
There are 2 ways children become looked after:
- A Care Order made by a family court.
- Being Accommodated with parents/guardian’s agreement.
What Is A Care Order?
A Care Order means the court has decided that Childrens Services should share parental responsibility with your parents to keep you safe and to make important decisions for you. During the court process, you will have a Children’s Guardian who will meet with you and who will represent you in court.
What Does ‘Accommodated’ Mean?
If you are accommodated it means that Children’s Services and your parents have agreed that is in your best interest to be looked after whilst you and they plan for your future.
What’s The Difference Between Being On A Care Order And Being Accommodated?
When you are accommodated, Children’s Services don’t share parental responsibility for you, so your social worker will need your parent’s consent for lots more things.
If you are unsure whether there’s a Care Order in place or if you’re accommodated then ask your social worker.
What Is A Care & Support Plan?
Every looked after child or young person has a Care and Support Plan that the social worker completes with you and your family. It covers contact, your placement, health, education, and future plans, and says who should do what with you and for you.
A copy of your Care and Support Plan is available to you if you don’t already have one.
How Often Should I Be Visited?
Your social worker should visit you within the first week of you moving in, and then at least once every 6 weeks for the first year.