Care leavers: your relationships

We support you to develop good relationships with people who are important to you, whether that’s family members, foster carers or teachers.

As a care leaver in North Yorkshire we would really like to get to know you as a person, and we want to support you to have strong and positive relationships with the people who matter to you. That’s why we will help you maintain these relationships by providing you with support to reintroduce or maintain contact with family or other people who are important to you (it doesn’t matter how long ago it is since you last saw them) as long as we feel this is in your best interests.

At times life can be a struggle so you might need a bit of extra help and support. We can meet with you to find out what is going on and who you would like to bring to your support network get together. It can be anyone that you trust and have a relationship with. We then bring you all together so that they can help you to make a plan of what to do.

Relationships sometimes go through difficult times for lots of different reasons and we can help you try to sort things out by meeting with you to find out about what has happened and what you hope for. We can then meet with the other person and hear things from their side. Then if it’s the right thing to do we will bring you together to talk about what has happened and try to work things out. This is called mediation. Sometimes you might need a bit of help making sense of your journey, what happened, why decisions were made and who helped make them.

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.

As a care leaver you are able to request your files. 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 sharing that information).

Support network meetings, reconnections, learning more about your journey and mediation are all voluntary which means that even if you initially say yes you can change your mind and the work can either be put on hold or stopped. Our lifelong connections and network co-ordinator is available to help you with any of this work.