The Leaving Care Service

The Leaving Care Service assists Looked After young people through the process of Leaving Care and provides aftercare advice, support and financial assistance both to Bradford care leavers and also, on behalf of other Authorities, to care leavers from other areas who come to live in Bradford.

The Service also provides advice and support to homeless 16 and 17 year old young people in need and to 16 and 17 year old unaccompanied asylum seekers who are living independently.

The definition of 'care leaver' and the different categories of care leaver ('Eligible', 'Relevant', 'Former Relevant' and 'Qualifying') are set out in The Leaving Care Act 2000. The Act introduces a range of requirements and responsibilities in respect of accommodation, financial support, needs assessment and pathway planning, provision of leaving care personal advisers, assistance towards education, employment and training, maintaining contact, promoting health and identity and dealing with representations and complaints. The main aim of the Service is to implement the Act and the philosophy behind it.

The Service is unable to provide advice and support to all homeless 16 and 17 year old young people in need and is only able to work with young people who cannot access or maintain accommodation without its support.

Service is delivered through bases at Odsal and Shipley. Care leaver referrals are co-ordinated at 'transitions meetings' attended by Senior Care Managers representing both the Leaving Care Service and the Looked After Team. Referrals on homeless children in need are received at both bases depending on the young person’s postcode and referrals on unaccompanied asylum seeking children are made directly to the Assessment Teams, where the referrals are then passed on to the Looked After teams and/or the Leaving Care Service – dependant upon circumstances.

Supported Lodgings - Stepping Stones

Bradford Leaving Care have a Supported Lodgings Service called Stepping Stones. The service helps young people who have been in care of the local authority aged 16-21 (this can be up to 25 if they are in further education) and young people who have presented as homeless (aged 16-17) achieve independent living skills by placing them with a 'lodgings provider' in their home.

Lodging providers have a named Support Worker and the young person have a Leaving Care Worker who are part of the Leaving Care team, both of whom give support with regular meetings and placement reviews to ensure the placement is going well.

The service is always looking for Providers who can offer a spare room with practical and emotional support to a vulnerable young person who isn’t quite ready for living independently. Providers don’t need to have particular qualifications they should be able to offer:

  • A safe place to live
  • Emotional and practical support
  • Time to show a young person various independent skills – cooking, budgeting, cleaning etc.

Providers receive an allowance of £145 per week and the young person is expected to pay £20 per week towards utilities and food.

Stepping Stones also provide an emergency supported lodgings service. This is for young people who need to be housed quickly and it is for a period of up to 3 months.

If you want further information about Supported Lodgings please call 01274 437123 and ask to speak to a member of the Stepping Stones team. Alternatively you can email stepping.stones@bradford.gov.uk and somebody will get back to you.

Contact details

The Leaving Care Service, (Bradford Services to Children & Young People)
Odsal Resource Centre
6 Odsal Road
Bradford
BD6 1AT

Or
39 Kirkgate
Shipley
BD18 3QZ

Odsal : 01274 436760
Shipley : 01274 437123

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