Supporting young people leaving care

Cornwall’s 16 Plus Team is formed as a partnership between the Local Authority and Carefree.  Carefree provide a commissioned service and work with one third of all care leavers from Cornwall.  Together we aim to improve the life chances of young people living in and leaving Local Authority care.  The team works within the statutory guidance of the Children (Leaving Care) Act  2000 to provide support and advice to young people between the ages of 15 years 9 months and 21; 24 years if in higher education.

The service also runs a supported lodgings scheme called ‘Open Door’ which provides supported accommodation for care leavers aged 16 and 17 to help prepare them for independence.

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Cornwall’s 16 Plus Team is made up of a Local Authority Team Manager who works alongside the Carefree Manager.  The entire team consists of 26 full time equivalent workers who cover the county and any young people placed in; or living out of the county.  Workers are co-located across Cornwall.  We do not run a duty or drop in service. 

The main aims of the team are:

  • Preparing young people who are currently looked after by the Local Authority for the time when they cease to be looked after
  • Provision of after care advice and assistance
  • Supporting young care leavers through the transition from being in care to independent living
  • Improving the life chances of young care leavers

Young People are transferred to the 16 Plus Team at 16. They are allocated a 16 Plus Social Worker who works with them until 18. They are also allocated their own Personal Advisor, someone different to their social worker who will work with them from 16 to 21 or 24 if in higher education.  Both work with the young person to assess their needs and wishes before developing and implementing their Pathway Plan.  This Plan relates to areas such as:

  • health
  • education, training and employment
  • relationships and support
  • identity and culture
  • practical skills
  • personal skills
  • accommodation

The 16 Plus team workers will keep in contact with their young person to regularly review, and further develop, the Pathway Plan. In addition we work closely with other agencies and as such provide essential links with Housing, Careers South West, YZUP, Youth Offending, Benefits Agency, Share, Adult services, Health and many others.