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5.9.7 Personal Advisers


  1. Definitions
  2. Role of Personal Adviser

1. Definitions

1. Eligible Young People

They are aged 16 or 17, have been Looked After for a period or periods totalling at least 13 weeks starting after their 14th birthday and are still Looked After. (This total does not include a series of pre-planned short-term placements of up to four weeks where the child has returned to the Parent or for a disabled child where care was for respite purposes only). There is a duty to support these young people up to the age of 18, wherever they are living.

2. Relevant Young People

They are aged 16 or 17 and are no longer Looked After, having previously been in the category of Eligible Young Person when Looked After. However, if after leaving the Looked After service, a young person returns Home for a period of 6 months or more to be cared for by a Parent or adult relative and the return Home has been formally agreed as successful, he or she will no longer be a "Relevant Young Person". A young person is also "Relevant" if, having been looked after for three months or more, he or she is then detained after their 16th birthday either in hospital, remand centre, young offenders' institution or secure training centre. There is a duty to support relevant young people up to the age of 18, wherever they are living.

3. Former Relevant Young People

They are aged 18 to 21 (or up to 24 if attending an agreed course in further or higher education), and have left the Looked After service having been previously either "eligible", "relevant" or both. There is a duty to consider the need to support these young people wherever they are living.

4. Qualifying Young People

They are over the age of 16 and under the age of 21, (or up to 24 if in full-time further or higher education, see 3, Former Relevant Young People), and have been Looked After or, if disabled, Privately Fostered after reaching 16, but do not qualify as Eligible, Relevant or Former Relevant. They may receive support, advice and assistance wherever they are living.

5. Personal Adviser

A Personal Adviser is the person appointed to work with every Looked After young person, from the young person's 16th birthday, and will occupy a key role in providing support to the young person after he or she reaches 18 up to the age of 21 or 25 if remaining in education or training. The Personal Adviser will hold a pivotal role in the planning and review of services as set out in the Pathway Plan.

6. Pathway Plan

The Pathway Plan sets out the route to the future for young people leaving the Looked After service and will state how their needs will be met in their path to independence. The plan will continue to be implemented and reviewed until they are 21; or up to 24 if completing an agreed course of education or training begun before they were 21. (See Pathway Plans Procedure).

2. Role of Personal Adviser

The key roles of the Personal Adviser are:

  1. To provide advice;
  2. To advise on and monitor progress of the young person's Pathway Plan Assessment;
  3. To take a lead role in the preparation of the Pathway Plan;
  4. To participate in reviews of the Pathway Plan;
  5. To liaise with other agencies, including other local authorities in the implementation of the Pathway Plan and to advocate for the young person;
  6. To coordinate the provision of services under the Pathway Plan and take steps to ensure the young person makes use of such services;
  7. To keep informed about the young person's progress and well-being;
  8. To keep written records of contact with the young person.

The level and nature of the contact will be specified in the young person's Pathway Plan. However under the Transitions to Adulthood Regulations and Guidance 2010, the Personal Adviser must have face to face contact with the young person every 2 months minimum and this must be recorded in case notes.   

Where a Personal Adviser loses touch with a young person, relevant agencies must be notified which may include another local authority, and all immediate practicable steps must be taken to re-establish contact.

The Personal Adviser will act as the principal source of contact in any matter relating to the Pathway Plan.

Once a Pathway Plan has been made, the Personal Adviser will monitor its progress through direct contact with the young person and with the agencies and individuals identified in the Plan as providing a service or being significant.