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Why do I have a Social Worker?

All children and young people looked after have a Social Worker – this is what the law says has to happen!

A Social Worker is a person who has been trained to work with you and your family and the people who look after you.  It’s their job to make sure that all of your needs are met, that you are safe and that you have opportunities to a good education, health care and leisure activities.  Your Social Worker is there to listen to you, support you and to help make decisions about your life.  Your Social Worker should always help you to understand why you are looked after, talk to you about all the decisions that are made and why, and will help you to make plans for the future.  Your Social Worker should always talk to you about your wishes and feelings, and will always make sure your welfare comes first.

The law says that your Social Worker must visit you where you live, regularly and at least once every six weeks.  If you have been living in the same place for more than one year, your Social Worker will only visit you once every three months.  Sometimes, this can feel like a very long time between visits.  If you feel that you need more visits, please discuss this with your Social Worker, or in your review meeting.

Sometimes children or young people in care might disagree with their Social Worker, or about decisions being made about their life.  If you are not happy about the plans that are being made in your life, you can contact an advocate to help you to have your say if you want some help with this.  It is important for you to have a say in all of your plans for the future.

Top 10 things your Social Worker should do:

  1. Come and visit you regularly where you are living
  2. Listen to you and take your wishes and feelings into account
  3. See your nursery, school and college reports
  4. Keep their promises and do what they say they are going to do
  5. Keep you informed of what is happening and inform you of your rights
  6. Speak to you about your interests and things you want to do
  7. Keep you informed of what is happening with your family
  8. Celebrate your birthday and special occasions such as religious festivals
  9. Be available to listen and support you, and to talk to you about things happening in your life
  10. To make sure you are safe and your needs are met