Education, relationships, health and money as a looked after child

Contact with family and friends

Maintaining relationships and having a good support network are really important. In this section you can find out more about how we support and encourage healthy relationships and contact with family and friends – where it’s safe and beneficial to you.

Seeing your family and friends

Your social worker will talk to you about seeing your family and friends. This is called ‘contact’. How often you will see your family and friends will depend on the reasons you came to be in care.

You can keep in contact in many different ways, such as by:

  • Letter
  • Email
  • Phone calls
  • Text or
  • Approved visits.

Sometimes your social worker or a relative may need to come with you when you visit your family. This is to make sure you are safe.

Staying over with friends

If you want to stay overnight at a friend’s home, your foster carer will need to agree to this. Your foster carer will need to know the address of where you will be staying, the name of the adult who will be responsible for you and their telephone number.

Your carer will speak to or meet the responsible adult where you are staying to make sure that you will be safe. Your social worker might also have to agree to the overnight stay.

If you want your friend to stay over with you, chat to your foster carer to get their permission for this to happen.

Having visitors if you don’t see your parents

If you have not had contact with your parents in the past year, or have little contact, having an independent person visit you might be suggested by your social worker. You can also ask your social worker for an independent visitor if you would like one.

The independent visitor might be someone you already know and who your social worker thinks is suitable. There are lots of things that an independent visitor can do such as go to a football match with you, help you make a meal or go with you to some other kind of event.

All independent visitors have been checked by us and the police and will have official identification. They may visit you for a short time or for years, depending on your wishes and feelings.

Tracing family who live abroad

If you came into care because your family is living in another country and you have lost contact with them, the Red Cross can help you to find them.

You should only do this if you want to. If you feel worried or frightened about seeing anyone, you should always tell your foster carer or social worker. You do not have to see anyone you do not want to see.