Throughcare and Aftercare Service
There are around 11000 children and young people looked after by local authorities in Scotland, of whom about 1500 are over 15 years old. About 1200 young people aged 16 or over cease to be looked after each year. These young people need planning and support to make a successful transition from being looked after to independent adult living. Young people in care often tend to be younger than their peers when they move on to independent living, at an average age of 16 or 17 years old.
Local authorities have a statutory duty under section 29 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 as corporate parents to these young people, particularly those who cannot return to their families, to look after them as any other parent would look after their own children. As in a normal family setting it should adapt to meet the changing needs of the young person as they grow up, and will, at different times, include accommodation and financial support as well as advice and assistance.
Children’s Residential Services have a responsibility for the looked after children in Shetland's population and have developed a Throughcare and Aftercare service to provide care and support to young people leaving care and moving on to independence. The growing number of referrals to the service since it has been available evidences the necessity and high level of support required for all young people who qualify for this type of care.
The Throughcare and Aftercare team are responsible for key working; developing pathways plans; providing high levels of emotional support to the young people; making young people aware of the practicalities of moving on and co-ordinating responsibilities to ensure consistent support. The service has developed valuable contacts with a variety of agencies and regularly draws on the expertise of this range of professionals on a consultancy basis in order to best meet the young peoples needs.
Each individual cared for by the staff has their own care plan and everyone, including relevant professionals from other agencies, such as teachers, work together to help each child/young person reach their potential.
The Throughcare and Aftercare Services team provides throughcare for young people, by involving them in planning and make preparations for when they cease to be looked after. The aftercare service is the provision of advice, guidance and assistance when the young person is no longer looked after and they are living in their own tenancy.
More information can be obtained by contacting us:
Old Library, Lower Hillhead, Lerwick
Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm only
Elaine Aitken, Team Leader
Tel: 01595 745307
Shirley Brown, Senior Social Care Worker
Tel: 01595 745248