Care leavers: your culture, identity and your right to be taken seriously

We make sure your views are listened to. Find out how an advocate could help your voice be heard. Also, how to access your records.

If you have religious beliefs, we will respect them and work with you to create a plan which meets your religious and cultural needs. We will also celebrate your religious festivals with you, this will include ensuring you have opportunities to practice your religion and support with travel to get there if you need it.

We will help you to maintain contact with family members and significant people in your life. And can get additional support to help with this if needed. We hope this will contribute to your sense of identity and build your resilience.

We will listen to your views and take them seriously. We will ensure we do this within the work we complete directly with you and by consulting with you on the service that we provide. You will have opportunities to record your wishes and feelings within your pathway plan reviews and by speaking to your leaving care worker.

If you should ever be unhappy with the service you have received from us, the first port of call would be to speak to your leaving care worker’s line manager or directly to the team manager. This is on 07966 067497.

If you are not happy with the response you may wish to make a complaint. You can make a complaint in the following ways:

Online via our complaints page


Telephone: 01609 534193

Write to:

CYPS complaints team

North Yorkshire County Council

Children and young people’s services

County Hall


North Yorkshire


You can also access the support of a national youth advocacy service advocate if you feel you need help to get your views across or you feel like you’re not being listened to. Advocacy is about supporting you to make sure that your rights are respected, and your views and wishes are heard.

An advocate can provide support by:

  • giving you an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent
  • being with you when you have appointments or meetings
  • speaking up for you, if you want them to
  • giving you information about the different ways that you can raise your concerns
  • helping you to think about what you would like to achieve or want to change

You can request an advocate from your leaving care case worker or by calling the national youth advocacy service helpline on 0808 808 1001. You can also access lots of information about advocacy support on the national youth advocacy service website.

Accessing your social care records

Sometimes you might need a bit of help making sense of your journey, what happened, why decisions were made and who helped make them. As a care leaver you are able to request your files, your leaving care worker can put this request in for you, more information is available on our social care records and how to access them page. Sometimes it can take a long time for them to arrive and they might be bundled in an a few envelopes depending how much there is. There can be a lot of information that might be difficult to understand and have bits that are blacked out as they relate to another person as well as you (data protection prevents us from sharing that information).

We are able to help you get the information you need by requesting your files and reading through them for you. We will then meet with you to go through all the information that we have found, you can have your leaving care worker there too. We will give you a copy of all the information we have found, and it will be in a format that will make sense to you (no jargon or social work language) and if you have any questions hopefully, we can answer them as we have looked through the files. If you still want to access your records afterwards you can still do that.

If you would like to request access to your records independent of your leaving care worker, you can do so in several different ways. More information can be provided through our get in touch page.