Support for Children in Care

Children in Care have access to support from education, council and independent services
Young person sat down

Different people will provide help and support throughout your time being looked after in the care system.

Crucial: All young people who are in care, or have a child in need or child protection plan, can download the Mind of my Own App which gives you a safe, secure and easy to use way to have your say about your own care, and contact your worker, IRO (Independent Reviewing Officer) and make a complaint. If you don't have Mind of My Own already, talk to your worker or download it from the Mind of My Own website.

Social workers

Your social worker will make plans with you to make sure you have all the things that you need while you are looked after. They will visit you regularly, but you can talk to them at other times. 

Your social worker will also work with you and your family to try to make it possible for you to go home when the time is right. They want you to be safe and happy wherever you are living.

Foster carers

Many looked after children live with a foster carer. They will help you settle into the family and make sure that you are happy and safe.

Foster carers will also help you to keep in touch with your own family and friends.

Kinship carers

Kinship care is when someone form your family other than your parents looks after you. 

There is extra support available for kinship carers to make sure you stay safe, well and get your education. 

Designated teachers for looked-after children

At your school, there will be a special teacher for looked after children, but you can also talk to other people at your school if you are having difficulties, like a School Health Nurse or teacher.

Virtual School for Looked-After Children

This is a team of teachers who support the education of looked-after children and can help you to achieve the targets set in your Personal Education Plan.

You can contact the Virtual School by email or letter at The Virtual School for Looked After Children, Harlow Centre, Raymund Road, Old Marston, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 0SW.

Personal Advisers

There are Advisors who provide information, advice and guidance for young people on learning, careers, and choices, as well as health, relationships, money and lots more. Advisers are based in schools and colleges. They can also refer you to specialist support if it is needed.

Comments and Complaints Service

The Comments and Complaints Service at Oxfordshire County Council deal with both comments and complaints about social care services for young people. If you feel that something is wrong with your care, then the Comments and Complaints Service can help.


This special team work with young people who are in care or leaving the care system.

The team helps sort out difficult emotions or memories you may have which are making you unhappy or confused. They can also help you adjust to your new situation with foster carers and their family. Find out out more about them here.

Independent visitors and advocates

During your time being looked after, you may come into contact with advocates or independent visitors. 

These are people who are independent of Oxfordshire County Council. They support you to ensure your views are heard, your problems are sorted out and your rights are met. They can either help you speak out or talk on your behalf.

Designated Nurse for Looked After Children

Young people in care have the right to health care. You will have regular health reviews carried out by a doctor, nurse or health visitor. 

As somebody in care you can tell your social worker or carer if you’d like to see someone about your health. You can also contact your named nurse.

You can ask your social worker, foster carer or anyone else you trust to accompany you to any health meetings if you’d rather not go on your own, or you can visit them on your own.

Contraception Outreach Service

The School Health Nurse Service provides a contraception outreach service to young people aged under 19 in Oxfordshire who are in care, leaving care and care leavers. It includes the following:

  • Contraception, Condoms, Chlamydia Testing & Treatment, Pregnancy testing & Emergency Hormonal Contraception

You do not have to be at school or college to access to this service. You can ask your worker to refer you or access the service yourself by emailing or phoning or texting 07769 235149 . 

Find out more

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