Preparing for independence can be both scary and worrying and is one of the biggest steps you will take on your journey to a successful adulthood.
Living independently isn’t easy and if you’ve also spent time in care you may feel that you’ve had more than your fair share of difficult experiences to deal with.
The earlier you start to prepare and put some of the skills you will need into action, the easier it will be when you actually do move into independence.
The Leaving Care Service in West Sussex can support your transition to independence and make sure you have everything you need to equip you for when you become fully independent.
Our charter for care leavers means that we will treat you with respect, listen to you and support you every step of the way to ensure you have the best possible start in life.
Planning for your future
At some point before or just after your 16th birthday, you will have sat down with your social worker and other adults who play an important role in your life, to write a Pathway Plan for your future.
Your Pathway Plan will contain lots of different things that matter to you, including:
- where you are going to live and your accommodation
- mapping out what needs you have
- setting out how your needs can be met in the future
- your health, wellbeing and development
- your education, training or employment
- your family, social relationships and your personal support
- practical skills and how you are going to develop them
- financial support you are currently receiving
- your future goals and how you are going to achieve them
- helping you move towards independence
- how the County Council will provide you with the support you need.
Your personal adviser (PA) will take the lead with the Pathway Plan when you turn 18 years old.
It is important that everyone around you knows what is happening and what plans you have.
If things change
Your Pathway Plan can be changed at any time. Things can happen in life that you don’t expect, so you might find that you want different things or your circumstances change.
Your PA will regularly review your Pathway Plan with you, so you can think about what has happened over previous months, what you may like to do next, what you have achieved and any goals you have for the future.
It will also give you chance to discuss how you are getting on and how you feel about where you are living.
It is important you work with your PA on your Pathway Plan, as they won’t know what you would like them to help you with.