Have you got a Pathway Plan?
Every child who is looked after should have a Pathway Plan and it is your right to have one. It should ideally be done while you are still in care and should be done around the time your 16th birthday. A Pathway Plan should give you a list of how the council will support you to live independently. You should be part of writing it and make sure your wishes and feelings are taken fully into account. You and your council will then make a 'contract' to make sure the things included in your plans do happen. In fact it is a 'contract' in that you both sign it and are responsible to make things happen. You get your own copy. It can be difficult to keep key documents and papers safe but try your best to put it somewhere where you can get at it easily.
This is your plan and it is not something that is just written and then forgotten about. It needs to be looked at regularly and changed if needed, especially if there are big changes happening for you. You should bring up anything that you are worried or unhappy about and you should record any disagreemnets with anyone in your life (like your carer, PA or Social Worker).
Other people can also help when your plan is being created. Members of your family, foster carers, teachers, health workers and other professionals maybe asked to contribute - but you must know about it. The Pathway Plan must include names of people and organisations that are going to be there for you in the future.
You might be feeling that you are at the crossroads and looking for a direction in life. If you can't let go of some of your past what could help you do so? What are your dreams? What are your hopes and fears? Who do you want in your life? How can you stay healthy? How can you enjoy life to it's fullest and have fun? These are all important questions and this time might be the right time to think about it.
Some young people have told us that writing a Pathway Plan should be more creative and that you could use techniques such as mind maps, life lines, drawings and scrapbooks to help. A PA or Social Worker could look into ways of making the process more interesting and rewarding for you.
The main points outlined in the Plan are things to do with your:
- Your health and development - if you have any health concerns or problems you should look into ways to deal with these, help yourself and help. Remember it is just as important to talk about your mental health as well as your physical health.
- Your idendity - Who you are? What is your idendity your PA could help you with realising your sexual orientation and exploring your ethnicity and religion.
- Your education, training and employment – what you want and what support you will get to help you with your goals.
- Contact with your parents, wider family and friends, focusing on the help they can give you at this time. Do you get on with the people around you? Who is good for you? Who is not so good for you?
- Managing your money, including an assessment of what money you need to live on and how good you are at handling money.
- Developing practical skills so that you can live on your own. Can you change a plug? Cook? Do repairs? What will you need to help you to develop your independent living skills?
- Your housing - where will you live? Will you be safe? Who will you live with? What happens if you don't like the place that you live in? These are the questions you need to ask in your plan.
- how you access your records and doccuments such as your passport, driving licence, birth certificate and national insurance number.
There is a really great organisation called the Become Charity who have execellent resources found on a usual website. They have some fact sheets that are useful to look at (and they are also available in Arabic, Kurdish, Pashto, Tigrinya, Vietnamese and Albanian) especially useful here is there factsheet on how to complete your Pathway Plan. You can find their website here: