In Bromley we strongly believe that every child and young person should be involved in the decisions that are made for them. Now this doesn’t mean letting you get your own way but instead making a real effort to hear your thoughts and feelings and considering them before making decisions. We also believe that our children and young people are the experts on what it feels like to be in care. Therefore we think its important that you have a say in how we improve on caring for you.
We are a dedicated team that works with you, to hear your voice and to make sure it impacts the development of children’s social care. As a team we work directly with young people and social care staff to:
- Make sure that you have opportunities to be actively involved in your care journey
- Make sure that all social care staff understand the importance of hearing your views
- Offer workers the opportunity to build on their knowledge and confidence so that they are inspired to promote your participation
- Capture your views and make sure that managers use it for service changes
- Provide creative participation opportunities for you to be involved in
Our priorities are:
Promoting the importance of Active Involvement
As a team it is our role to promote the reasons and benefits of active involvement. We believe that your involvement has many benefits, the most important being that it teaches you responsibility and contributes to a sense of belonging and developing a positive care identity.
Our Living in Care Council (LinCC) is for our children and young people in care aged 11-17. Its a participation group that forms the link between those in care and those in charge of their care. LinCC is a great way to meet others in care and to also contribute to making care a better place. Visit our LinCC page.
Change for Care Leavers is a group for young people who are transitioning into independent living up to the age of 25. It is a participation group that hopes to empower care leavers and pave the way for a better future for the care population. CfCL works alongside corporate parents to ensure your voices are heard. Visit our CfCL page.
We deliver the Brightspots survey in partnership with Coram Voice and the surveys are evaluated by university researchers. There are two surveys, one for Children Looked After titled Your Life, Your Care and one for Care Leavers titled Your Life Beyond Care. Once every two years you will be asked to complete one of the surveys to give your thoughts and opinions about your care journey and the support you have received. At the end on each consultation period the anonymous findings are evaluated by university researchers and a report is written by Coram Voice. The results from the surveys help us to better understand our young people’s journey through the system in order to improve it. Once the report is back we have a really big meeting with workers and young people to explore the survey results and find ways to improve the service. You are always welcome to take part in this meeting so once you’ve received the survey look out for the meeting invitation.
Targeted Group Work
We are about to start delivering a series of group work projects aimed at supporting our young people to develop their life skills. We are currently developing a project for young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) and another for our girls around Emotional Health and Wellbeing.
Targeted One to One Work
The team provides one to one work with our young people to offer extra support in specific areas of life. The NEET Worker supports our care leavers to help prepare them to engage in education employment or training. Whilst our Income and Tenancy Officer works with our care leavers to help them take responsibility of their financial circumstances.
We have two huge events every year to promote you meeting and building friendships with other young people in care.
Our Living in Care Council highlighted that there was little opportunity for you all to socialise with your Corporate Parents. As a result the group helped to create our annual Corporate Parenting Fun day. The day is a family day, on the Civic Centre lawns we have a huge BBQ with lots of fun activities aimed at all ages. Please see here for information on the last fun day.
As Corporate Parents, we want children in care and care leavers to feel safe and cared for and go on to live happy and fulfilled adult lives. We facilitate opportunities for them to achieve academically at school and beyond and find ways to support them to contribute to the communities in which they live. We believe in celebrating their achievements at every opportunity. As the Active Involvement Team we orgnise two annual awards ceremony to acknowledge and champion the progress that our children and care leavers are making.
We deliver an annual summer programme that is designed to create new memories for all participating. Workshop activities include, cooking, art, sports, topic based issues such as substance misuse, relationships and sexual health etc. There are also opportunities to take part in day trips to London as well as a targeted residential. During the programme we consult with the participants on a variety of issues as well as creating opportunity to contribute to the service. We offer film projects where short films are created and used with the care population and for staff training.
Recruitment and training
Young people in and leaving care are invited to participate in the recruitment of our social care staff, including Social Workers, Young Person Advisors and Managers. We deliver training to those who wish to be a part of the recruitment process providing them with the right skills. Once trained and offered the opportunity to participate, they meet with the recruiting manager to acquire knowledge on the post that is being recruited to and will then take part in the interviews.
In you are interested in getting involved in any of our projects please contact Melissa Bob-Amara @ Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org