Local Offer for Care Leavers: Your right to be heard and taken seriously

As a young adult, you will have your own opinions and views which might differ to our own. Whilst we may not always agree, we will listen to you and try to resolve any differences so we can move forward in a mutually respectful way. We will also help you when you feel you have been treated unfairly and support you to challenge this.

You have a right to see the information we keep about you, including the files and records written about you when you were in care. We make an effort to share this information with you at an appropriate time and help you to make sense of your individual experiences. We will make sure that a discussion takes place fully explaining this process before you access your records. We recognise that sometimes you may want someone else to support you with this and you have a right to support from an independent advocate if you are thinking about challenging decisions or making a complaint about the care we give you.

Advocacy Service

The Advocacy service is there to support you to speak-up and take part in decisions that affect your life. We are here to tell you about your rights and entitlements and help you understand things clearly.

We are an independent service from your Social Worker or Personal Adviser and will keep our conversations confidential as long as it does not put yourself or others in harm. 

Please see below some of the ways we can help you: 

  • If you are confused by why certain decisions have been made about you
  • If you would like a Children's Rights Advocate to come with you to important meetings such as your ‘looked after children’ (LAC) reviews or pathway planning meetings
  • If you need help to write a wishes and feelings statement to help you say what you want to say and make sure people listen to you 
  • If you need information advice about your rights
  • If you are unhappy about the way you are being treated by Children's Services and you are worried about plans being mad
  • If you need support in making a formal complaint

We are based at Kensington Town Hall, however, we are happy to come and meet with you wherever you feel comfortable. You can email us directly if you wish.

Complaints

Children’s social services is part of the Children’s Department. We accept that things can go wrong but we want to get them right. If you are not happy about the way you have been treated, we encourage you to speak to the team/worker who are supporting you to see if they can work with you to sort things out. If you are still unhappy, you have a right to complain and your complaint may help improve services for everyone. We will put you in contact with a Children’s Rights Advocate who will support you with the complaints process. You can contact us at:

Customer Relationship Team 
Bi-Borough Children’s services 
Kensington Town Hall 
Hornton Street 
London, W8 7NX 
Phone: 0207 745 6501
Email: FCSresponseservice@rbkc.gov.uk  

Who can help?

Education, Employment and Training

Money and Finance

  • Step Change offers free, impartial and confidential advice to help people deal with their debts: www.stepchange.org
  • Citizens Advice can support you with issues around debt and money, including: help with debt, budgeting, rent arrears, banking etc:

Kensington (London) Citizens Advice
2 Acklam Road (on the corner of Portobello Road)
London  W10 5QZ
Telephone: 0300 330 1174 (ADVICELINE; Mon p.m. and Thurs p.m.); 020 8962 3485 (RECEPTION)

Chelsea Citizens Advice
Old Town Hall Kings Road
London  SW3 5EE
Telephone: 0300 330 1174 (ADVICELINE; Mon p.m. and Thurs p.m.)

  • Turn2us helps people access the money available to them through welfare benefits, grants and other help: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/ (freephone: 0808 802 2000 (9am to 8pm Monday to Friday))
  • Money Saving Expert offers advice on how to save money, including help with banking and savings, utilities and bills, travel and motoring, insurance etc: www.moneysavingexpert.com
  • Rees Crisis Fund offers financial support for care leavers in emergency situations for e.g. food, gas/electricity, transport: www.reesfoundation.org/our-services/financial-support/

Unaccompanied asylum seekers

  • Asylum Aid assists refugees on their applications for asylum in the UK and offers advice on related areas such as appeal against refusal, welfare rights and housing: www.asylumaid.org.uk  (telephone: 020 7354 9264;  Tuesdays 1-4pm; email: info@asylumaid.org.uk )
  • Asylum Support Tribunal considers appeals against decision made by the UK Border Agency and is independent of government: www.gov.uk/appeal-first-tier-asylum-support-tribunal  (telephone: 020 7538 6171)
  • Refugee Council is for refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK. It offers advice and information for refugees: www.refugeecouncil.org.uk

Housing and accommodation

  • Citizens Advice offers a range of housing advice on areas including: renting, repairs, council tax, rent arrears, discrimination, moving and improving your home and problems where you live:

Kensington (London) Citizens Advice
2 Acklam Road (on the corner of Portobello Road)
London  W10 5QZ
Telephone: 0300 330 1174 (ADVICELINE; Monday pm and Thursday pm); 020 8962 3485 (RECEPTION)

Chelsea Citizens Advice
Old Town Hall Kings Road
London  SW3 5EE
Telephone: 0300 330 1174 (ADVICELINE; Monday pm and Thursday pm)

Health and wellbeing

  • Talk to Frank for information on drugs and alcohol: telephone: 0300 123 6600; SMS: 82111
  • Addaction for support on drug, alcohol and mental health issues: www.addaction.org.uk
  • Samaritans offers a safe place for you to talk any time you like about what is getting to you: email: jo@samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us ; 24/7 confidential support 116 123
  • Brook can provide information and advice on sexual health or relationships, including sex, contraception, STIs, pregnancy or abuse: www.brook.org.uk
  • Young Stonewall supports and empowers young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to live free from discrimination and fulfil their potential: www.youngstonewall.org.uk
  • Gendered Intelligence is a London based service for transgender young people and can offer youth group sessions, one-on-one mentoring, special projects and workshops, training sessions and other resources for trans gender youth and their families: www.genderedintelligence.co.uk