Being looked after away from home can be difficult and confusing but we want you to be happy and to do well while you're in our care.
The short videos on each page of this guide explain what being looked after means, how we look after you when you are in care and the support we provide when you leave our care.
If there's anything that isn't clear, or isn't covered, ask your social worker or carers for help.
2 What being looked after means
Becoming looked after
Find out what becoming looked after means.
What do social workers do?
The role of a social worker when you are being looked after.
These are volunteers who spend time with you, take you out and support you.
West Sussex Children in Care Pledge
Find out about our promise to the young people in care and care leavers we look after. We have written the Pledge with the members of the Children in Care Council.
Children in Care Council
The Children in Care Council is a group of young people in care in West Sussex. You can find out more about joining by contacting Toby Wilson on email@example.com or asking your social or key worker.
3 How we look after you
When you are being looked after you will have a Personal Education Plan to make sure you have all the support you need at school.
Find out about health assessments and the role nurses for children being looked after.
Where will I live?
Find out more about placements or where you will live when you are being looked after.
Contact and family
How we make plans so that you can stay in touch with your family when you are being looked after.
Looked after review
The review is a regular meeting where those involved in your care meet to discuss if your care plan is working well for you.
If you are in care or a care leaver you can request support from an advocate.
An advocate is an independent person who helps you speak up for yourself. They also give advice, make you aware of your rights, listen to you and represent your views, wishes and feelings. An advocate will support you so that you can have your say about the care and services you receive.
Find out how you can contact the Advocacy Service and what an advocate can help with.
5 What happens when you leave care
Find out what happens when you leave care.
6 Making a complaint about your care
If there is something you are concerned about regarding the care you receive from us you can make a complaint.
Before you do though, try to speak to whoever is responsible for the service you wish to make the complaint about. You may find things can be sorted out very easily.
If, however, after speaking to them you still want to make a complaint, you can contact the advocacy service. They will find someone to help you with your complaint.
- Find out how to make a complaint about children's social care.
7 Unaccompanied asylum seeking children
The Gatwick Children's Service works with unaccompanied, asylum seeking children who are referred to social services by Gatwick Airport. Often these children will become looked after.
As well as being provided with the necessary housing, education and health care, we also aim to meet their religious and cultural needs.
We can also refer young people to immigration solicitors for advice and support with their claims for asylum.