Integrated Children's System
The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 requires a Pathway
Plan for all eligible, relevant and former relevant
young people. The Act defines an eligible young
person as one who is aged 16 or 17, who has been looked
after by the local authority for a total of 13 weeks since
the age of 14, and remains looked after. A relevant
young person is defined in the Act as a young person who
was previously an eligible young person but who
is no longer looked after and is under the age of 18.
The Pathway Plan fulfils the requirements
both for assessing the young person's needs and planning
services. The Pathway Plan replaces Part
Two of the Care Plan and Assessment
and Progress Record for all eligible children,
and is informed by previous Care Plans, Review
Records and Assessment and Progress Records.
View the Integrated
Children's System Pathway Plan
Completing a Pathway Plan
The responsible authority must complete a Needs Assessment
within 3 months of a young person becoming an eligible
or relevant child whether he or she does so on turning
16 or later. It must also prepare a Pathway Plan
for eligible and relevant children, as soon as
possible after completing the needs assessment.
Arrangements to complete the Needs Assessment required
for the Pathway Plan and a timetable
for this assessment should be discussed and agreed at
the young person’s statutory review meeting prior
to their sixteenth birthday. The assessment should be
completed no later than three months after this date.
Young people should be actively involved in the assessment
and planning. To support their involvement in the process
a consultation document, My Pathway Plan, has
been developed to enable young people to give their views
on their needs and how these needs should be met.
Methods of assessment should take full account of the
young person’s communication skills and mobility
requirements. Where a young person requires additional
assistance to fully involve them in the assessment process
then this should be offered.
The following people should also be consulted unless
there is an exceptional reason not to do so:
- young person’s parents, or others with
- any person who cares for the young person on
a day to day basis;
- a representative of the young person's school
- the young person’s GP;
- an Independent Visitor, where appointed;
- any other person whom the responsible authority
or the young person considers relevant;
- the Connexions Personal Adviser.
The Pathway Plan should also take account of any existing
assessments and plans relating to the young person. These
- Assessment and Progress Record;
- Care Plan;
- Placement Information Record;
- Personal Education Plan;
- Health Plan;
- Transition Plan.
The Pathway Plan records the social worker’s assessment
and is intended to provide a formal record of an agency’s
plan for a young person and the evidence upon which the
plan was based. The Pathway Plan, however, should be informed
by the views of the young person and other significant
adults and professionals in the young person’s life.
The Pathway Plan is in two parts:
- Part One records the assessed needs of the young
- Part Two records the actions and services required
to respond to the assessed needs and to provide
support during the transition to adulthood and
Part One: Needs Assessment
The same principles underpin the Pathway Plan
Needs Assessment as for all the other assessments of children
and young people. The Pathway Plan Needs
Assessment uses the same structure as the other assessment
records. It considers the young person’s needs in
relation to the seven developmental needs dimensions.
Parenting Capacity is assessed under the heading
of Support, as this heading is more relevant
and understandable to young people leaving care. The section
assessing the impact of Family and Environmental Factors
has two subheadings - Accommodation and Finance,
as these are two important areas where young people often
The structure of the Needs Assessment is similar to other
assessments within the Integrated Children’s System.