Children in care

The 'Care planning and children in care' team provides a specialist service to children and young people who are cared for by Brent Council.

Coming into care

There may be situations where children can no longer live at home with their families. This could be for a number of reasons - illness; a family breakdown or break-up; or parents or carers who are unable to provide the right sort of care and protection.

Initially, we see if there are friends or relatives who could look after the child. If this is not possible or appropriate then we find accommodation for the child and they become 'looked after' by Brent Council.

They may go and live with friends or relatives, in a foster home or a residential home for a few days or weeks or longer if need be.

All these arrangements are made with the agreement of the parents who retain their parental responsibilities. Sometimes, following legal proceedings, the court may decide that a child should not live with his or her family and gives Social Services the authority to make decisions about the child's welfare and future. This will involve deciding where the child should live. This might be with the parents or within the extended family. In some cases, a permanent arrangement outside the family is best for the child.

The help and support we offer

We listen to young people and talk to those who know them. We make an assessment of their needs and work with them to make plans to help shape their future.

Our aim is to focus on the whole person and support young people's needs in education, training and employment, health, housing and offer emotional support.

We offer as much choice as possible to make sure young people get what they need from our service.

Advocacy service

Any child or young person in that is unhappy about decisions being made about them can ask to speak to an independent advocate. The advocacy service is separate from Children’s Services. They help children and young people in care to put their views and wishes across and make sure they are involved in all decisions about their life.

Care in Action (CIA)

The Brent Care In Action (CIA) Council encourages children and young people in and who have left care to play an active role in their community.

Leaving care

In addition to helping with accommodation on a short term, permanent or long term basis, we support those who have left care and require on-going advice and/or assistance.

We provide all our care leavers with a personal advisor who will support them to make a smooth transition from being 'looked after' into adulthood so they can start to live independently.

We provide support for young people from the age of 16 to 21. In some cases, if specific support is needed, this can be extended until they are 25. Young people can choose not to use our service at all, or think about using the service when they are older.

Complaints

If you are unhappy or concerned with the care which has been organised, it is important you raise the issue with us so we can try to sort things out. Take a look at the support that is available and what steps to take, if you are considering making a complaint.