Connect with family through Lifelong Links service
Lifelong Links is here for children in care to reconnect with key family members or friends who can support them into adulthood. We work with young people in care, who do not plan to return to their family or be adopted, to identify a group of safe adults who can commit to offering lifelong support for them.
If you are a young person who wants to connect with family, you will need to speak to your social worker who will refer you to us. We can then work with you to identify who you want to find out about.
The child or young person is central to the process, it is voluntary, and they can withdraw at any time.
We will search for and find family members and other adults who care about the child. They could be known or unknown to the child, and may include relations like parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles or it could be former foster carers or teachers.
The people who have been found, called a network, are then brought together in a Family Group Conference, which is a planning meeting with family and friends. The purpose of the Family Group Conference is to make a lifelong support plan with, and for, the young person. The social worker will then work with the young person and their support network during the young person's time in care, during their transition to independence and into adulthood. Find out more about what happens in a Family Group Conference.
We are committed to keeping children and young people connected to their families and to families being central to decision making. We aim to work with families to gain the best outcomes for their children and young people.
How we can help young people and families
Our video shows how we can help families.
The first half shows how Lifelong Links connects young people in care with family members.
The second part has a parent explaining how a Family Group Conference supported her to feel in control of the planning for her daughter.
For more information:
- read our Social Connections Service leaflets
- find out more about Lifelong Links on the Family Rights Group website
- talk to your social worker.