So I'm 16 - Now What?

Before you are 16 years old, your social worker will arrange to meet you to help you to plan for your future. This plan is called a pathway plan and it replaces your care plan. Information that was included in your care plan will be included in your new pathway plan. 


Needs Assessment and Pathway Plans

At your statutory review just before your 16 birthday your social worker will discuss the plan to complete your needs assessment and pathway plan. Your needs assessment and your first pathway plan should be complete within three months of your statutory review. Your social worker will sit with you and possibly your carers to help you to complete a needs assessment.

The needs assessment will be about your abilities, your achievements and about your needs now and in the future. You can ask your social worker for a copy of your needs assessment if you would like to read it.


Once your needs assessment is complete your social worker will start to write your pathway plan with you. To make sure your pathway plan includes all of your hopes and goals your social worker will talk to you, your parents and/ or carers, and to other important people in your life. You can say who you would like to be part of your pathway plan and who you would prefer not to be.


Your pathway plan will help you to think about and write down your plans for the future.


This will include:

  • Health

  • Education

  • Identity

  • Family and social relationships

  • Emotional and behavioural development

  • Self-care skills and presentation

  • Finances

  • Accommodation 

Remember it’s your plan

It is important that you take part in writing your pathway plan because it is your plan for the future.  It will help you to think about what is important to you, what you want for yourself in the future and who is going to help you to achieve the things you want.  The pathway plan will help you to set achievable goals with lots of support so you can get out of life what you really want.


Top Tip: make sure any agreements for support or help are written into your pathway plan and then you can refer back to it to make sure you get it.   


Your social worker will help you to review your pathway plan every six months until you are 18 years old.  This will help you to keep your plan up-to-date and to discuss any changes or support that you may need. You should always receive a copy of your pathway plan after every review.  When you are 17 years and 6 months old your social worker will introduce you to your personal advisor. A personal advisor is the person who will support you when you leave care and help you to review your pathway plan from 18 until you are 21 or 25. 

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