The Inspiring Futures Team (IFT) is a dedicated service for young people aged 16-25 who are either in care or have left the care of the Trust (or formerly Doncaster Council's care services). To qualify for an IFT service a young person must have spent at least 13 weeks in care after their 14th birthday. This could be in a single period or several different periods. They must have also been in care on or after their 16th birthday. If eligible, a young person can be referred as early as 15yrs and 6 months to help transition to adulthood.
We want every young person who has been looked after in the care system to be successful and to know that they have someone on their side who can support them up to the age 21. This can extend to the age of 25 if they want to remain in touch or whilst engaged in education/ training or employment.
At the age of 15yrs 6 months an IFT social worker is allocated to work with the young person as they transition to 18yrs. An holistic approach is taken to support the young person in preparing for adulthood, however primary focus will be developing their Independent Living Skills (ILS) utilising the Keys to My Future programme, transition to appropriate affordable accommodation and support with Education, Training and Employment (ETE).
At the age of 18 the service provides each young person with a Personal Advisor (PA) to help and support them. The role of the PA is to offer a wide range of support and information to help them make informed positive choices.
We work with each young person to draw up a Pathway Plan which focuses on the following areas: Personal Support, Accommodation, Education/Training/Employment (ETE), Physical Health and Emotional Well-being, Independent Living, Family Contact, Hobbies/Social/Leisure, Financial Support, Young parent/Carer, Ethnicity/Culture/Identity. Plans are reviewed every six months or if there has been a significant change. We now have a new ‘App’ called Leaving ll and all Pathway Plans are completed in this format.
We work closely with semi supported accommodation providers, including our in house service ‘Semi Independent Living Service’ (SILS) at Cantley. We have a working protocol with DWP to enable Care Leavers to apply for welfare benefits one month before their 18th birthday, and we have onsite ETE Advisors. In Young People’s Services we also have access to some Therapeutic Services.
If you require any advice or support in this area then please ring us, we are happy to help 01302 737 559. If you would like an ‘Inspiring Futures, Young Person’s Induction Pack’ then please contact the Inspiring Futures Team:
Doncaster Children’s Services Trust
Tel: 01302 737559
Coram Voice – Am I a Care Leaver?
The Care Leavers Foundation
Care Leaver Covenant
National Benchmarking Forum