Pathway Plans

Your pathway plan sets out your needs, views and future goals, and who will do what to help you get there.

We must prepare a Pathway Plan for you from when you are 16, as you prepare to leave care. The plan shows how we will help you achieve the things you want to in the future

Your assessment and Pathway Plan should include what’s happening with

  • Accommodation – where you live
  • Finance – money
  • Health and wellbeing – how you are
  • Emotional Issues and behaviour
  • Education, training, employment, work experience and volunteering – what you do
  • Relationships with family, friends and support networks – your community
  • Identity, such as ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation – who you are
  • Hobbies, sport, leisure, social life – what you like doing
  • Parenthood (if you are about to become a parent)
  • Keeping yourself safe – safeguarding
  • Practical skills and other skills you need to live independently

Your Pathway Plan talks about your needs, views and future goals, and who will do what to help you get there. Your Personal Adviser will work with you to update your Pathway Plan regularly, so that it is kept up-to-date.

What is a Pathway Plan?

What the Pathway Plan for care leavers looks like.

Learn more about Pathway Plans – Factsheet about Pathway Plans

What are the different areas of the Pathway Plan?

Accommodation or Placement

It is important to know your living arrangements and whether your accommodation is suitable and meets your needs.

You can discuss the things that will help you manage on your own, your worries and successes, what skills you need to develop, or guidance and support you need to help you live independently.

You can discuss your future plans and goals, and the things we can help you do, so that you can achieve them.


You can list any income and outgoings in this section. This is so that your Personal Adviser can support you to make sure you are receiving the financial support you are entitled to depending on your circumstances.

You can say whether you need support to budget, avoid debt or save, and your Personal Adviser can help you with advice, guidance and tips.


It is important to discuss any health issues that you might have and what they are, also, whether you are registered with a doctor and a dentist, and if not, what we will do together to help you get registered.

You can discuss the outcomes of your health assessments from when you were in care and the support you receive for your health or disability needs. You can discuss your knowledge and skills about sexual health, drugs and alcohol.

It is good to discuss your knowledge, skills and abilities and what’s needed to help you manage your general health. It is good to use your time to talk through your lifestyle choices and whether you would like to make any changes, and to set goals to achieve this. Your Personal Adviser may be able to support you to access services, groups or apply for gym membership.

Education, training, employment, work experience and volunteering

Having a career goal is important and your plan should show the necessary steps that need to be taken to make sure you have the best chance of achieving it.

You should discuss any achievements and qualifications you have gained already and have ideas about your next steps, and any help and support you may need in the future. This could include support with transport, applying for college placements or help with a job application.

Family, friends and your support network

It is essential that your Personal Adviser supports you to maintain good relationships with family and friends.

You should know about your family history and life story, and if you don’t you can ask for support to find out.

It is vital to have a good support network. Your Personal Adviser will want to know how they can help you have one that works for you and work out who is part of that network.

If you are unhappy about any contact arrangements with family members, you can make this clear.


This is often the hardest section because this is about what makes you…. You. Here are some things to think about.

  • How do you describe yourself?
  • What are your views and opinions?
  • How do you see people?
  • How do you think they see you?
  • Do you feel discriminated against in some way?

If you have any questions about your past, like why you came into care, or need support with language, your ethnicity, your sexual orientation, your religion, ID, accessing files or disability, your Personal Adviser can help and support you to get the services you may need.

Hobbies, sport, leisure, social life

Think about how you spend your time.

Do you use your time constructively? There may be activities that you’re interested in. You can tell your Personal Adviser what they are and they can look to support you with any payment or transport issues that might be stopping you from getting started or going back to an activity.


Becoming a parent is a huge milestone in anyone’s life and can be an exciting and challenging time.

This section aims to help you if you are about to become a parent, or you are already a parent. It includes information about any children you might have. It looks at your living arrangements with your child, talks about who has parental responsibility and outlines your support network.

This section also helps you think about how you can link into what support is available in your community, such as groups, nurseries and play groups. You will be asked to think about support and help you might need to be the best parent you can be.

Keeping yourself safe

This section helps you to think about any areas of your life or situations where you (or others) may be at risk from harm. It is important to write down any offences and the consequences of these in this section.

This section can also help to work out possible influences, triggers and risky behaviour, so that you can work towards reducing offending behaviour. It helps you think through how you might manage risks and what action or support you need to help you reduce risks and keep yourself (and others) safe.

We may not be the only people helping and supporting you, and these can be written down in this section.

Your views

This is your opportunity to discuss how you feel about what has been written in the plan and your opinion about the services you have had in the last six months.

This could be anything – from the Leaving Care Service, accommodation staff, carers, education and any other professionals who have worked with you.

Why is a Pathway Plan important?

Every ‘child looked after’ (CLA) must have a Pathway Plan. This usually starts around your 16th birthday.

It’s the law.

As the name suggests, it’s a plan that looks at different parts of your life for you to create a Pathway that will help you be an independent young adult.

We can then support you to achieve what you have set out in your plan. This is why it is very important that you work closely with your Personal Adviser to create and update it. This means that it will always take into account all your feelings, wishes and worries.

Things to think about when creating your Pathway Plan

  • Raise anything you are unhappy about – so it can be written down in the Pathway Plan.
  • Think about a ‘Plan B’ – so that if you don’t achieve your goals you know what to do and who to go to to ask for help. If you are not sure, you can always speak to your Personal Adviser to help you.
  • If you don’t agree with a professional involved in your plan, make sure this is written down – so that your views are clear and understood.
  • If they ask, say whether you are happy for your plan to be shared with others, (like other professionals, family or friends). You don’t have to share it if you don’t want to.
  • The last year of your Pathway Plan will be all about living independently and will tell you who is there to help you, what they can do and how to contact them.

What happens after the plan is written?

You will get a copy of the written plan. You should sign it to say that you agree with what has been written and then keep your copy safe.

You will need to refer to it to make sure you are taking the steps you need to reach your goals.

You can ask for your plan to be reviewed at any time, especially if you have big changes in your life that mean you might need to change your goals.

Your Pathway Plan should be reviewed at least every six months with your Personal Adviser. It will help you discuss what’s going on in all areas of your life and how you are making progress to achieve your goals.