Sophie's story

Sophie's Story - Continuing Care whilst living at home on a Supervision Order

Sophie is 14 and has been living with foster carers for the past year. Her family had some problems they needed to work out, so Sophie and her little brother went to stay with a foster family while things got sorted out at home. Sophie's mum and dad are in a much better place now and she is excited that her social worker said that Sophie and her brother can move back home again. Everyone keeps talking about 'orders' and being 'looked after at home'. Sophie is really confused: she doesn't know what her social worker means about being ‘looked after at home’. Surely everyone is looked after? Sophie wonders what this means for her and her brother.

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Sophie should speak to her social worker or her advocacy worker

This is not about continuing care. The orders that people are talking about will be a Compulsory Supervision Order (usually called a CSO). This is a decision that is made by a Children’s Hearing meaning that Sophie and her family are to be given support from social work. This could include staying in foster care when Sophie needs to.


Important things to remember

  • Being 'looked after at home’ means that Sophie lives at home and is looked after by her family but Sophie and her family have social work keeping an eye on how things are going and arranging help for the family if they need it.
  • If Sophie is still looked after at home when she turns 16 then she will not be entitled to Continuing Care. Instead, she will be entitled to what is called Aftercare. Whenever young people over the age 16 do choose to ‘leave care’ they will be entitled to aftercare support from their local authority. This can involve support with housing and accommodation, finances, education or employment and can last up to their 26th birthday.
  • If Sophie wants to get information and advice about her rights then an advocacy worker or lawyer can help her with this.
  • Sophie should ask her advocacy worker or lawyer to speak to her social worker and find out which orders are in place so that they can explain to Sophie exactly what these ‘orders’ and being looked after mean for her.
  • Just because they live together, Sophie’s brother’s situation might not be exactly the same as Sophie’s. His needs could be different and he also has the right to his own advocacy worker to help him understand what all this means for him.

Find information about your right to continuing care and see the other stories here

Continuing Care and Your Rights is a project co-created with care experienced young people, CELCIS, Clan Childlaw and the Care Inspectorate, with the assistance and expertise of visual artist Ciara Waugh and Liminal Studios and Edinburgh Napier University in developing the digital media resources.

Care Inspectorate

If you are not happy with the level of care you are receiving, we would encourage you to first of all speak to the care service itself about your concerns. This is often the quickest way to resolve a problem. However, you can choose to complain directly to the Care Inspectorate either by: filling in our complaints form online, calling us on 0345 600 9527 or emailing us here. Children and young people can send a text directly to 07870 981 785.

Scottish Child Law Centre

If you are under 21 and want to talk to someone about how the law affects you, our advice line is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm. You can contact us anytime or you may wish to call us during our dedicated Youth Hour which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday between 12pm and 1pm. During this time, our solicitors only take calls from children and young people. Call free on: 0800 328 8970 (from landlines) or 0300 3301421 (from mobiles).

Clan Childlaw

Anyone, of any age, anywhere in Scotland, can call Clan Childlaw with a question about children’s rights and about how the law and legal systems in Scotland work for children and young people. Clan Childlaw has a team of lawyers who can represent children and young people in court, in children’s hearings, and in important meetings. You can call free on 0808 129 0522, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Or online here.

Who Cares? Scotland

If you’re a care experienced young person and you need advocacy support or someone to talk to, contact Who Cares? Scotland by phoning 0330 107 7540 or emailing The Helpline is open Monday-Friday, 12pm-4pm.