The brand new Director of Children's Services at the Department for Education visited two of our services in West London on Thursday, April 6 to meet young people and hear about their experiences of children's social care.
Phil Townsend, Director of Operations, acted as a tour guide for the day. Young people who were around the homes on the day had thought in advance about what questions they wanted to ask the government representative and what experiences they wanted to talk about with her.
The guest started her day at a Safe Steps children's home for girls at risk of exploitation. Social Pedagogy Trainer Nicola Boyce provided an overview of our services and model of care, before Manager Parveen Banga explained about the Safe Steps models and our experiences of being part of the DfE Innovation Programme.
Amelia, a young person who used to live in the home, also came back to talk about her experiences of St Christopher's and how much of a difference we made to her life.
Later in the afternoon the Director visited a 16+ service in West London. Manager Chardelle Margerison and Life-Skills and Participation Co-ordinator Alex Jones introduced the home and explained how we have developed our practice to support young people in their transitions from children's homes to supported housing to living independently. This included talking about a project where young people identified what they think is important for these moves and delivered training to managers of children's homes and 16+ services on making transitions easier.
Young people provided the Director with a tour of the two buildings and again shared their experiences of living with St Christopher's and being supported to move to independent accommodation.
Our guest really enjoyed the day and particularly highlighted how impressed she was with the way we focus on building relationships. She said it was rewarding to see staff and young people together as you could really see how they had bonded and built strong relationships.
*Names of young people have been changed
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