What does a Personal Advisor do?

 

A Personsal Advisor is a worker from the local authority who can support a care leaver up to the age of 25. A PA (a Personal Advisor) needs no professional quailification for the job but they usually have a good working knowledge of the issues that you face as you move into adulthood.

 

There are lots of people who could be a PA and in Bristol the local authority employs a team of people specially to do this job.  As a care leaver you can have a choice of PA although this can sometimes be difficult due to the capactiy of the team.  It is important that the PA listens to your views and wishes.  The role of the PA is to: 

 

  • Provide advice and practical support to you

  • Participate in reviews of your case

  • Make sure that a pathway plan is done and acted on

  • Point you in the direction of services that will help you 

  • Make sure services work together to help you

  • Keep up to date with how you are getting on

  • Keep records of contacts made and meetings

  • Give financial advice on how to manage your everyday finances

  • Give you housing options 

  • Support you in finding further education, employment or training

  • Keep in touch with you

 

Care leavers used to get support from their PA until the the age of 21. This support would only continue up to the age of 25 if care leavers were in education or training. However a new act passed in 2017 has now changed this and now a PA has responsibility to offer support to all care leavers up to the age of 25 whether or not they are in education or training.  The new legislation can give you the right to ask support from your PA up to the age of 25 but that PA does not have to provide the same level of support to care leavers age 21-25 as it does for those you are aged 18-20. However local authorities should respond positively to all requests for support from care leavers aged 21-25 who are struggling in developing their indepedence and move into adult life.

 

If you do ask for support at this time the local authority should carry out a needs assessment that looks at all the issues a young person is asking for support with.  A record should be kept of issues discussed and details of the support the local authority has agreed to provide. This is called a Pathway Plan. 

 

Local authorities have to keep in touch with all care leavers until the age of 21, if they have lost contact, they must take reasonable steps to get back in contact. However this is not the case for care leavers aged 21-25 as support is only required where requested. The ways of keeping in touch may vary and can be through email, text or other social media applications and should be decided on taking into consideration on how a care leaver wants to be communicated with.

 

If a PA thinks that the young person needs support to avoid putting themselves at the risk of harm, the PA may continue monitoring the welfare of the care leaver and take action if necessary. Remember if you are struggling it is YOUR RIGHT to ask for and recieve some support if things aren't going right in your life.