Looked after children
The Promise Tree
The Promise Tree was develop from listening to young people’s thoughts and wishes about being in care in Darlington. This is a set of promises that Darlington has made to all children in care.
Open the Promise Tree [pdf document]
Your guide to being in care
These guides are for children and young people who are in care.
They will help you to understand some of the changes in your life right now and help to answer any questions you may have.
Your Social Worker or Foster Carer should give you one of these guides. If not please feel free to download and print a copy out to keep.
If you have any questions about the guides or if you have a question the guide does not answer please email us at [email protected]
Darlo Care Crew
“Darlo Care Crew” are Darlington Children in Care Council, a group of young people in care who come together regularly, to look at issues that affect children in the care of Darlington Borough Council. Working with the Council, we make decisions which help to make the lives of young people in care better.
What's on Darlo Care Crew (DCC)?
Things to do in Darlington
Did you know you can get free leisure with the Live Card? If you don’t have a card ask your Social Worker.
With the Live card you can access for free:
- casual swimming
- swimming lessons
- access to Under The Sea soft play
- access to Move More sport & activity sessions
- free induction and access to Dolphin Centre
Gym (age and time restrictions apply)
For terms and conditions see the Darlington Live Card fact leaflet [pdf document]
The Max Card
Free or discounted entry to loads of great attractions [external link]
Arts and Culture Head, Heart, Hands Darlington
Head, Heart, Hands Darlington project [external link]
Who’s who in Children’s Services and what do they do?
Link to the Who's who document [pdf document]
Choices Together years 10 &11 an opportunity to find out what it’s like to be a university student.
The North East Raising Aspiration Partnership [external link]
Is Higher Education for me?
Propel - Higher Education guidance [external link]
Darlington virtual school
Our role is to:
- Promote the Educational Achievement of children looked after by Darlington Borough Council
- Ensure that Pupil Premium Plus funding is used effectively to promote their education progress
- Provide expert advice, guidance and training to professionals and carers involved with looked after and previously looked after children.
Darlington Virtual School works with looked after children and young people aged 2 to post 16.
Have your say
Mind of My Own
One way to have your say and share your views is through Mind Of My Own. The One app is a communication tool created by Mind Of My Own which makes it easier for you to express your thoughts, experiences, good news and report any problems to your Care Team
- You can download the One App via the Apple app store [external link] or Google play store [external link]
- You can also sign up and use Mind Of My Own online [external link]
- Download the Mind of My Own poster [pdf document]
Have a look at this guide to see how to download and use the app (Young Person Poster & Guide to Download pdf) or watch this short video [external link] . Don’t forget when signing up you will need an email address and remember to select Darlington Children Service’s.
As with all apps it’s important to protect your privacy so make sure you log out when finished & don’t share your password with friends or strangers. Also remember if you send in a statement outside of working hours (Mon-Fri 9am till 5pm) it will not be looked at by a member of the LATC Team till the next working day.
If you need any help with Mind Of My Own speak to your Social Worker or email [email protected]
Do you know your Rights
Your Rights Explained
- IMO [external link] was created by the Children’s Commissioner for England
- IMO [external link] is a voice for teenagers in care and for care leavers. It is somewhere you can share stories, experiences and achievements, get and give advice, and find loads of great free stuff!
Children's Rights in England [external link]
What is an Advocacy
Advocacy is about supporting you to make sure that your rights are respected, and your views and wishes are always heard. This is done by an Advocate working with you to:
- giving you an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent.
- being with you when you have appointments or meetings.
speaking up for you, if you want them to.
- giving you information about the different ways that you can raise your concerns.
- helping you to think about what you would like to achieve or want to change.
- This is a short clip, advocacy explained to young children [external link]
If you are not happy about something what can you do?
- Contact the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS), they can support and listen to you if you feel your wishes and feelings are not being heard by anyone, NYAS website [external link]
- The NYAS app is available on Android [external link] and Apple devices [external link]
Looking After Your Mental Health
If you are aged between 11 and 18 and live or study in Darlington and finding the current situation hard to cope with you can call a dedicated helpline being delivered by the Listening Post and Darlington Mind, from 1st April 2020.
You do not need to be already accessing or waiting to access The Listening Post or Darlington MIND to utilise this support and the service is completely free; if you need information, advice or support then please make contact via the details below and we will do what we can to help.
The Listening Post will be offering a dedicated service from 10am - 12pm each weekday (Monday-Friday) from 1st April 2020. To access this support please contact 07847 933799 between 10am – 12pm Monday to Friday.
If the telephone line is busy or unavailable you can also contact the service via email at [email protected].
Darlington MIND will also be offering a dedicated service from 1:30 - 4:30pm each weekday (Monday-Friday) from 1st April 2020.
Kooth is an online mental wellbeing community for Young people aged 11 to 18-year olds
“I really like how you can share your problems anonymously and have help from others. It makes me feel accepted and that people will not judge Me.”
- Your online mental wellbeing community [external link]
- Kooth Chat [external link]
- CAMHS information directory [external link]
- Young Minds [external link]
What is an IRO and what is a Looked After Review?
What is a Looked After Review? [pdf document]
- Darlington Borough Council have signed up to the Care Leavers Charter [pdf document]
- WhatServices are there for Care Leavers?
Your pathway plan says how the council will help you prepare to live independently
What’s a pathway plan and why is it important? [pdf document]
The council has a duty to provide the following financial assistance once you turn 18
Financial support for Care Leavers [pdf document]
Are you willing to accept support and do not want, or are not ready, to live alone?
Supported Lodging what is it who is for? [pdf document]
Stay safe when using the internet and other forms of electronic communication
- nspcc online safety pages [external link]
- Our Safeguarding pages
- Childline's online safety pages [external link]
- Safety links on games consoles and other gadgets around the home [external link]
- Young peoples rights on social media [external link]
- How to report content on Social Media and get sites to remove it [pdf document]
Why not join Darlo Care Crew?
If you are aged 9 and above and in care in Darlington you can join Darlo Care Crew. If you want to know more about “Darlo Care Crew” or want to take part in helping to change things for the better you can get in touch with us through:
Other useful links
- BECOME [external link]
- Childrens social care
- Looked After Through Care Team
- NYAS [external link]
- Unicef[external link]
- Children's Commissioner [external link]
- National Audit Office Children and young people in care and leaving care [pdf document]
- National children's bureau [external link]
- Darlington Young Carers [external link]