7.1 It is important that there is someone who has overall responsibility for ensuring the pathways folder work is undertaken and action identified in the plan is taken forward. Under the regulations the local authority should appoint a pathway co-ordinator for each compulsorily and discretionarily supported person, and may do so for a currently looked after person. A pathway co-ordinator need not be an officer of the local authority but will act on behalf of the responsible authority, which will want to ensure that the co-ordinator is a suitable and capable person The responsible authority must seek and take into account the views of the young person before appointing a pathway co-ordinator.
Regulations 4(1) and 6(d)
Regulation 4(2) and 4(3)
7.2 The pathway co-ordinator will provide advice and support to the young person on any throughcare and aftercare issues the young person raises. The co-ordinator should be responsible for ensuring that the young person's pathway views have been sought and taken into account when producing the pathway assessment and plan. As part of this, it is expected that the pathways co-ordinator will participate in the pathway assessment and the preparation of the plan. They will also be involved in the reviews of the plan. Liaison with the young person's supporter will be a key role for the co-ordinator and they will ensure that the supporter is informed of the pathway views, pathway assessment and pathway plan, subject to gaining the young person's consent to do this.
7.3 The pathway co-ordinator will also be charged with co-ordinating the provision of services identified in the pathway plan. There may also be cases where young people do not engage with the services that have been identified or engage for an initial period before withdrawing. The co-ordinator should keep themselves informed of the progress and well being of the young person to alert them to any of these potential issues. The co-ordinator should explore the reasons behind the young person taking this course of action and try to resolve the issues preventing the young person from engaging. The pathway co-ordinator should keep a written record of all contact with the young person.
Young person's supporter
7.4 Some young people need a person to champion their needs and provide them with help and guidance. Meetings with professionals can be daunting or discussing their future might be difficult and stressful. In such circumstances having someone they know and trust available can allow them to articulate their wishes fully and lead to more productive results. Such a person might also help the young person to keep in touch with the local authority. The regulations allow for the young person to select such a person and have them involved in the throughcare and aftercare process. This person is known as the young person's supporter.
7.5 The role of the young person's supporter is to help the young person at each stage of the process. They can provide advice and participate in the steps such as the pathway views, pathways plan and reviews of the plan. The role of the young person's supporter is not to ensure that services are delivered. That is the function of the pathway co-ordinator.
7.6 Any young person to whom the regulations apply can ask the authority to appoint a supporter, that is currently looked after young people, compulsorily, prospective or discretionarily supported young people. The supporter must be an individual person (so not an organisation) and may or may not be a local authority official, but must not be the pathway co-ordinator. The choice of a supporter rests with the young person but the authority must satisfy itself that the young person's choice is a suitable person and capable of performing the role of a young person's supporter. The supporter themselves must agree to take on the role. Examples of supporters might be workers from voluntary organisations or advocacy groups, foster carers or relatives, as well as local authority workers.
7.7 The young person should decide what involvement they wish their supporter to have but they can be involved in the following:
- providing advice and support
- assisting the young person in giving their pathway views
- participating in the young person's assessment and preparation of the pathway plan
- participating in reviews of pathway plans.
In addition, anyone taking on the role must keep themselves informed of the progress and well being of the young person
7.8 It should be emphasised that the role of the supporter is to help the young person as the young person requests. The supporter does not take on any of the responsibilities of the pathway co-ordinator. Although the local authority must satisfy itself that the young person's choice is a suitable and capable person, the authority is not responsible for nominating and selecting supporters, or for how they carry out their function.
Aims and outcomes
7.9 Between them, the pathway co-ordinator and the young person's supporter should provide the young person with advice and assistance through the process. They should work together to ensure that the young person's views are known, their needs are assessed and a pathway plan is completed and reviewed. They should be in contact with each other about the young person and keep themselves informed about the young person's progress.