As a young person living in foster care or residential care it is very important that you have regular contact with your family unless the court decides that it is not safe for you. When you move into care your social worker will organise a care plan meeting with you. At this meeting it will be discussed with you how often you will see your family, when you will see them and where you will see them. Depending on your situation your social worker may have to make special arrangements with you about your family contact. The reasons why these arrangements have to be made should be explained clearly to you.
When you move in to care it is very important that you can keep in touch with your friends as much as possible, you might even make new friends in the house or the street where you are living or maybe at school or college. Sometimes you may have a friend who is not the best person to hang around with. To make sure you are safe your social worker, residential staff or foster carer will talk to you about this.
Yes you can bring the photographs of your family and friends with you to the house you are moving into. Your photographs are your way of remembering and thinking about the important people in your life.
The information that is written down about you is about the important things that happen to you while you are living in care and it is important to record the decisions that are taken about you at your meetings.
The forms help to record the information kept about you the forms are there to make sure you are being cared for in a safe way.
This information about you is kept in a file with your name on it and is marked Private and Confidential, your file is locked away in a safe place.
Under a law called the Freedom of Information Act you have a right to read your file. However as some of the information in your file might be upsetting it is very important that you ask your key worker/ social worker to sit with you while you look at your file. When you read your file you may have questions you would like to ask your key worker/social work, they will talk try and answer these questions for you.
Check out our guide Your Guide to Living in Residential Care for more information. Even if you are in Foster Care it has loads of info for you too!
See also: Report of the Forum for Young People in Care (2010 - Foster Care in North Dublin)