It is very important that you feel involved in all decisions and planning that affect your life this includes meetings and in your pathway plans.
Your Personal Advisor can support you at meetings to make your views, wishes and feeling are heard and that you understand outcomes. Your Personal Advisor can support you to access an independent advocate who can offer additional support (see below).
Another way of getting your voice heard is through local and general elections. From the age of 18 you have the right to vote and to do this you will need to register on the “electoral role”. Being on the electoral role can also make it easier to do things like open a bank account, apply for housing, or get a passport. You can speak to your Personal Advisor if you need support to register.
An advocate can offer you additional support to challenge decisions that have been made about you, they can give you independent information on your rights and can be with you /speak for you in meetings with your consent.
Advocates can also support you to make a complaint if you are not happy about the service/decisions that have been made.
You can access independent advocacy support up to 25th birthday. For more information, please speak to your Personal Advisor.
If you are not happy about the Leaving Care Service or any other service offered by Nottingham City Council, you have the right to make a complaint. You can do this by visiting the Nottingham City Council website at: CIS Social Care Complaints (nottinghamcity.gov.uk)
To contact the Social Care Complaints Team please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can telephone: 0115 876597
If you wish to make a compliment please email your feedback to: email@example.com
In Nottingham City we have various forums for you to participate of join in consultations so we can best understand your views.
“Your Voice”. meets 4 times a year to discuss things that are relevant to you. What you say helps to shape the way we do things in the future for you. If you are interested please discuss with your Personal Advisor or ring the team: 0115 8761333
We also offer a range of opportunities for you to feed in your views or be part of be part of shaping services, our young people have met with Inspectors from Ofsted and taken part in Peer Challenges, interview panels to recruit staff, staff development days and workshops to develop our Local Offer and Pathway Plans, your Personal Advisor will also let you know what is coming up and how you can get involved.
Every year we host a Have Your Say Survey which gives children and young people the chance to share their views and experiences. The survey was designed with young people, as a way of measuring the success or otherwise of the pledges in the Children in Care and Care Leavers’ Charter.
Survey findings are presented to the Corporate Parenting Board and then shared with services and teams. The survey results help us to make improvements based on your feedback and we summarise this in a `You Said, We Did’ summary which is sent to all young people.
You have the right to see the information that we keep about you, this includes your files from when you were a child in care.
If you want to see your social care files, you will need to make a request in writing and provide some proof of identification. If you don’t currently have your identification documents, your Personal Advisor can support you to get this and/or confirm your identity. You can make the request via the Nottingham City Council website at: GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (nottinghamcity.gov.uk)
You may need some support reading your files, in terms of the information you will see, or you may need help to understand your past and your Personal Advisor can support you with this.
If you make a request the council legally has 30 days to provide your records however if there are lots of files and documents so sometimes it can take longer.
The Care Leavers Association has created a leaflet and information regarding accessing your records, you can access this at: Access To Records – The Care Leavers Association
You may need some support reading your files, in terms of the information you will see, or you may need help to understand your past.
If you make a request the council legally has 30 days to provide your records however if there are lots of files and documents it will probably take longer than this. The Data Protection Act allows the council to extend this deadline for up to two months in cases where there are lots of records as each page has to be read to identify information about other people which we cannot share with you as you are only entitled to information about yourself.
You can speak to your Personal Advisor (or Social Worker) for more information and advice on how to access your records.
The Mix can provide non-judgemental legal advice and support on a wide range of things for young people under 25 years old and can be contacted on 0808 808 4994. Go to The Mix Website
The Children’s Society is a national charity offering a variety of services to young people including advocacy. Go to Childrens Society Website
Community Legal Advice helpline offers free, confidential and independent legal advice for residents of England and Wales. You need to Text 'legalaid' and your name to 80010. CLA will call back within 24 hours. Calls cost 4pence per minute from a standard BT landline, calls from mobiles may be more or ask us to call you back.
Nottingham Law Centre offers free, confidential and independent advice to anyone who lives or works in the City of Nottingham. They give advice on Debt, Housing and Welfare Benefits. Go to Nottingham Law Centre Website