Consultation with looked after children
The Corporate Parenting team runs regular consultation and participation forums for children and young people looked after and leaving care. Consultation activities include:
- Consultation and participation activities
These are run for 5 to 11 year olds every holiday period. Children have recently been involved in writing and recording a song and a sports day.
- Consultation forum for 11 to 16 year olds
They are working on an animation and have done some creative arts work with the Tate Modern gallery. This forum, which runs every fortnight will be changing to a new ‘drop in’ style youth club by autumn 2008.
- 'Visions of Success'
This consultation group meets monthly for young people aged between 16 and 24 years. Find out more.
- Peer Care Consultants
A group of young people aged 16 to 24 years have been trained as ‘Peer Care Consultants’ and will be interviewing other children and young people looked after to find out their views and experiences of being in care and to assess the quality of care they are given.
- Consultation with children looked after with disabilities
This consultation has been undertaken to obtain their views, wishes and feelings and these areas are now being developed in the council to improve services for them.
- Questionnaires and focus groups
The Corporate Parenting team undertakes regular questionnaires and run focus groups as further consultation with children and young people looked after of all ages.
- G2K website for children looked after
This G2K website has a discussion forum where young people can air their views and discuss important issues.
- Regular meetings with Lambeth council’s Chief Executive
Every six months a group of young people looked after and leaving care meets with Lambeth Council’s Chief Executive, Derrick Anderson, to talk to him about important issues facing children in care.
- Young people attend Corporate Parenting Board Young people looked after attend the Corporate Parenting Board, meeting directly with senior managers and elected members to feed in their views and ideas for service improvement.
What has changed for children looked after?
The Corporate Parenting team are working to make sure that children and young people looked after are involved in decision-making processes at all levels and that improvements are made in their lives and in service delivery.
Here are some examples of things that are happening directly out of consultation with children and young people:
- Work experience schemes (both paid and unpaid)
- Work shadowing schemes (including shadowing the Chief Executive and Directors)
- Life skills workshops for young people approaching semi-independent living
- Wrote and recorded a song "Our Life" used in training with staff
- A DVD for young people about semi-independent living
- A pledge for children and young people looked after
- Summer read schemes with free books
- Priority for holiday activity schemes in Lambeth
- More choice with housing when moving into independent living
- Champions for education
- Birthday cards for young people from the Divisional Director and their social worker
- Consultation forums for younger children
- An advocacy worker
- A new leaving care handbook
- Young people interviewing other young people in care
- Young people attending senior level boards and meetings to share their views
- Design of new review documents for all looked after children and young people
- Design of a new complaints leaflet for all young people in Lambeth Council
- Involved in the substance misuse policy
- Involved in the missing from care policy
- Wrote and submitted a response to the Green Paper - Care Matters
- G2K website designed and developed by young people, for young people
- Free leisure passes for young people and discounted access for their foster carers
- Young people sit on recruitment panels for permanent managers and social workers
- Young people are involved in training foster carers, social workers, health workers on communication with young people looked after.
- Plus more…
Visions of Success group vision statement
“We are the voice of young people in care of Lambeth Council. We represent and advocate on behalf of other children looked after to make a difference by creating ideas to improve services and outcomes. We do this by working as a team and co-operating with each other.”
Visions of Success group purpose statement
“We have experienced life in care, and it is our aim to improve services for other children looked after.
We aim to reach out to other children looked after so our voice can represent them.
We aim to improve gaps in service delivery in Lambeth because we want children looked after to feel heard and to make their quality of life brighter. We want the experience of coming into care of Lambeth to make a positive impact on children’s lives.”