Young people who are looked after by the council are being encouraged to shape the services that they receive with the relaunch of a children in care council for Croydon.
This is among a raft of initiatives launched alongside Croydon Council’s Choose Your Future campaign, which aims to gives young people opportunities and encourages them to make positive life choices. It is also part of Croydon Council’s ongoing improvement plan for children’s services.
The new children in care council – which has just had its first meeting – is made up of young people from across the borough who are looked after by Croydon and supported by social workers. Members will meet fortnightly and will develop their own agenda. Senior managers from the council’s children’s services team and members of the corporate parenting panel will be invited to attend, in accordance with young people’s agenda.
Priority tasks for the children in care council include:
• renewing the pledge that the corporate parenting panel makes to the young people it looks after
• creating welcome to care packs for young people when they first enter the care system
• organising one-off events during school holidays
• building relationships with carers and social workers.
Members will be supported by peer mentors like care leaver Chinelo Chizea, 18, who said: “Given my history as a child in care, I will be able to relate to these young people in care in the best way I can; it is about having a positive impact on their lives. Young people, especially those in care, deserve to have their voices heard.”
“We want to improve our services for all children and young people and so I’m really pleased that we have relaunched the children in care council to give this group a voice. This is a chance for them to raise the issues that matter to them at a senior level in the council, and for their views and ideas to shape the care they receive.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning