New to care
New to Care
If you as an individual are recently into care you will find the Who Cares Trust website full of useful information. If you are now in the care of Surrey local authority and are of an age to attend school, you will be a pupil of Surrey's Virtual School for Children in Care. For more details about what the Virtual School is and what it does - see the section entitled Pupils.
If you are the designated teacher, or another member of staff from a school with a child or young person newly into care - here is a quick checklist of the things you should already have and/or should request access to immediately to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning for this child or young person. Contact details for social care Area Offices can be found on this School Calendar and Key Dates.
If a child or young person is expected to join your school soon you should:
- Have had contact with their social worker, know their name and have their contact details
- Have been provided with details and contact information about the child’s current carers
- Have been given details of any specific safeguarding information eg. adults who should not have contact with the child.
- Have been requested to set a date for an initial Personal Education Plan meeting – this is essential where a child is newly into care and needs to be completed within 20 days of a child entering care.
- Have been supplied with a copy of the child's latest Personal Education Plan (PEP)
You should request:
- A date for a PEP meeting with the social worker, if this has not been requested of you.
- Where relevant, the child’s latest IEP and Statement of Education
- The legal care status of the child – ICO (interim care order), FCO (full care order) or Accommodated (Section 20). This may need updating within a short period of time, dependent on the individual circumstances as an interim care order may be replaced with a full care order as a case proceeds through the courts.
You should ensure:
- School information management systems hold the correct data;
- identifying the child as In Care, with the correct Caring Authority
- recording accurately Carer details, including any mobile numbers for school text messaging
- The vast majority of children – those fostered or resident in children’s homes are not eligible for Free School Meals (FSM). This status is not affected by the individual circumstances of the carer – they receive funding to supply all meals for children in their care. Therefore the child's record should not identify them as currently eligble for FSM.