You can listen to the podcast on SoundCloud here
The Become Advisory Group has created a podcast reflecting on their experiences of the COVID-19 lockdown and what they’ve learned about themselves.
The group are care-experienced young adults from across England who play a vital role in our work and ensure we and other organisations are listening to lived experience in the most meaningful ways.
In this episode, Sam Turner (Policy and Participation Manager) talks to Alice, George, Kayleigh, and Leanne about various aspects of lockdown life, including what they’ve found challenging, coping mechanisms, positive aspects, and what they’re most looking forward to as we move out of lockdown. They’ve also produced some ‘wellbeing tips’ (below) which we encourage you to share.
After listening, please let us know whether your experiences have been different and what you’re appreciating more right now. You can join the conversation on social media by finding us on Instagram at BecomeCharity, on Twitter at @Become1992 or on Facebook at BecomeCharity.
Some of the discussions in this recording might bring up certain feelings or emotions for you, particularly if you’re also someone with care experience. If you’re in care or a care leaver and you’d like some advice or support, or a friendly voice to listen, remember that we’re always here for you. From Monday to Friday (10am-5pm), you can call us on 0800 023 2033 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The number of care-experienced young adults contacting us for advice and support about their finances, housing situation, their mental health has more than doubled because of the pandemic. Some have just wanted to speak to someone about how they’re feeling because they have no-one else to turn to. If you would like to support our work, please donate to our emergency appeal.
We hope you enjoy listening!
On 24 June, the Independent Care Review (ICR) published an evidence framework, comprising of research and evidence collated and analysed throughout the review’s three years of work as it undertook a root and branch review of the care system in Scotland.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Care Review heard the experiences over 5,500 care experienced infants, children, young people, adults and members of the paid and unpaid workforce had of Scotland’s ‘care system’, and their vision for what needed to change. Their voice was the cornerstone of everything the Care Review did, providing the direction and benchmark for the research, data and evidence the review sought to gather, commission and scrutinise.
The framework explains the participation and engagement undertaken and the outputs of the Care Review’s commissioning processes. The review’s work also drew on an extensive body of research from academics and researchers nationally and internationally, across all sectors, so the framework also lists a comprehensive bibliography of sources consulted.
This framework is intended to help navigate the vast amount of research engaged with and undertaken, and to signpost to relevant reports, documents, websites and organisations, to facilitate a more in depth look at a range of issues which were highlighted during the different stages of the Care Review.
The Review formally closes its doors on 30 June 2020, and from 1 July it will be superseded by The Promise, a new oversight body responsible for making sure that Scotland implements change for the care system.
The Promise will be chaired by Fiona Duncan, who also led the Care Review. It will initially be incubated within the Scottish Government but, like the Care Review, will operate independently. Over the next few months, The Promise will appoint a team to support the change programme and recruit an oversight body. At least half the members of this new body will be people with lived experience of Scotland’s care system.
To be kept up-to-date with The Promise, follow @ThePromiseScot on Twitter or the new website which is being developed at www.thepromise.scot
The number of children needing foster care has risen by 44% during the coronavirus pandemic, creating a “state of emergency”, a children’s charity said.
Meanwhile, the number of people looking to become foster carers has fallen by almost half over the same period, Barnardo’s added.
There were 2,349 referrals to the charity‘s fostering services between 1 March and 23 April this year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, up from 1,629 in the same period in 2019.
And just 161 people inquired about becoming a foster carer during the two months, down 47% from 302 across the same period in 2019.
The charity says vulnerable children who may have experienced neglect or abuse are in a state of emergency as they wait to be placed with foster families.
The Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has hit vulnerable families the hardest, with many reaching crisis point. This has created a state of emergency, as more children than ever need a safe and loving foster family, while fewer adults are coming forward as potential foster carers.”
The charity says the Covid-19 outbreak has increased pressures on families who are experiencing job losses, deepening poverty and worsening mental health.
Children have also been in lockdown in homes where domestic and sexual abuse is taking place.
At the same time, the number of inquiries from people hoping to foster have dropped, with many people’s situations affected by the virus, and amid an uncertain future.
Khan said: “Today, there are hundreds of children who have been referred to Barnardo’s and are waiting to be placed with a foster family. If you’re over 21, have a spare room and the time and commitment to support a child in need, please do consider getting in touch today.”
The charity is appealing for adults, including single people, people identifying as LGBTQ and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, to get in touch if they can help.
Foster carers will be supported by the charity with training and a dedicated social worker, and will receive financial support.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Foster carers make a lifelong difference to the lives of the vulnerable children when they need it most. We encourage more people to come forward, both now and in the future, so there are enough foster carers available at the right time and in the right place to provide safe, loving homes for these children.
“We have published guidance online for anyone interested in becoming a foster parent. During the pandemic we have also made it easier for councils and fostering agencies to identify potential placements, and to assess and approve new foster carers, so that children get the support they deserve without delay.”
The House of Commons Library has updated their briefing in response to some key questions regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on separated families, maintenance arrangements and access to children in the UK.
The briefing addresses: whether children can move between the homes of separated parents; how parents should comply with a court-orders for contact; whether children can be visited in care/residential homes; alternatives to closed child contact centres; and where help and advice can be found.
Further details are available here
Industry News: Exploring experiences of life at home during lockdown for young people in care, carers and birth families
TACT and Research in Practice have developed three linked surveys – for young people in care, carers and birth families – to explore their experiences of life at home during lockdown. The surveys aim to explore how people have spent their time, experiences of home schooling and relationships with social care over the lockdown period.
The findings will be used to inform practice as we move towards exiting lockdown, so that we can learn the lessons of the past three months and retain anything that carers, birth families and young people in care found beneficial, and address that which was problematic.
The survey will run from 9-21 June and all responses will be anonymous:
Survey for young people.
Survey for carers.
Survey for birth families.
Please share widely with children in care social work teams, local authority foster carers, independent foster care providers, residential care homes, special guardianship teams, special guardians themselves and birth parent networks. The more widely the surveys are shared the more robust picture it will give of life in care under lockdown to allow learning for the future.
Children's minister says regulations relieving councils of certain duties during coronavirus being used 'infrequently' and there are 'no plans' to extend their use beyond September deadline
MPs have voted against a move to scrap contentious changes to legislation governing councils’ responsibilities to children in care.
A motion, led by the shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, to annul a statutory instrument relaxing a range of duties safeguarding children and young people was defeated on 10 June by 260 votes to 123.
The amendments to regulations, justified by the government as providing important flexibility during the coronavirus crisis, were introduced in late April and enacted without sitting before Parliament for the customary 21 days.
Opponents, who include the Children’s Commissioner for England, Labour, significant numbers of children’s charities and the British Association of Social Workers England, argue the changes are unnecessary and may do harm to children, while some organisations claim they could pave the way for permanent weakening of children’s rights.
The children’s rights charity, Article 39, launched a judicial review this month seeking to quash the statutory instrument. On 11 June the charity said the government had been given until 22 June to respond.
“Judge granted our application to seek a quick response,” a statement from Article 39 on Twitter said. “This means we should hear in about a fortnight whether we have permission and a costs-capping order.”
‘No social worker would put children in harm this way’
During the debate preceding the vote on the motion, the children’s minister, Vicky Ford, failed to answer questions posed by Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck, the former shadow children’s minister and an ex-social worker, around which local authorities had made use of the new flexibilities.
Lewell-Buck, the MP for South Shields, said she could not “imagine a single social worker, having been one myself, who would allow any child that they work with to be put at harm in this way”.
She reiterated the concerns of many opposed to the statutory instrument, that the changes it introduces mirror measures to deregulate children’s social care former Conservative administrations tried and failed to introduce under the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Ford claimed the decision to introduce the amendments had been influenced by conversations with social workers who had said the system was faced with unprecedented stresses.
She said the government needed to respond to “the risk that local authorities may be unable to respond to significant pressures posed by Covid-19”, namely the combination of staff absences and an expected spike in demand as lockdown lifts.
Measures being used ‘infrequently’
Ford said the urgency of the situation had reduced the government’s ability to consult fully on the changes – a key bone of contention, with organisations including the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) saying they have not had active input.
She did not address questions posed by Lewell-Buck requesting more detail about the process leading to the drafting of the statutory instrument, and stressed that primary legislation had not been amended.
But Ford said the government was surveying local authorities monthly as to whether they were making use of it, and talking with other parties such as children’s charities in order to assess the impact of any such use.
She said the legislative changes were being used “infrequently” and that there were “no plans” to extend them beyond their planned 25 September expiry date, as is provided for by the statutory instrument.
“If there is a need to extend these flexibilities this will be on a case-by-case basis and subject to full Parliamentary process,” Ford said, adding that she would report back to the Commons before the summer recess.
‘Picking up where the last government left off’
In the wake of the vote, the Article 39 director Carolyne Willow said it was “deeply frustrating” that Ford had used much of her speech to talk broadly about her department’s policy and actions in the face of Covid-19.
“This was the opportunity for the minister to give precise information about why her department considered the global pandemic warranted a behind-closed-doors review of all children’s social care legislation, and why each of the safeguards had to be deleted or weakened,” Willow said.
“There was no such explanation – the repeated references to flexibilities, and the emphasis on primary legislation being untouched, is picking up where the government left off with the exemption clauses of 2016/17,” she added. “That was when the Department for Education first sought to distinguish between core safeguarding duties, and other legal protections.”
Willow said the government was drawing a “false distinction” that showed a lack of understanding of the law and how children’s social work has evolved since the 1940s.
Meanwhile Katharine Sacks-Jones, the chief executive of the Become charity for children in care and care leavers, said it was a “real concern” that the government was sticking with the legislative changes.
“Its’s vital they tell us more about what monitoring is taking place so that we can understand the impact they’re having on the safety and wellbeing of young people across the country,” Sacks-Jones said
Ben Twomey, the head of policy at the National Youth Advisory Service (NYAS) said: “We are deeply disappointed by the result of today’s vote in parliament, but want to thank the MPs who stood up today in defence of children’s rights.
“We will continue campaigning until this legislation is withdrawn and rights are restored to the children we work with,” Twomey added. “Statutory instrument 445 will remain under review until late September, during which time we urge the government to withdraw it at the earliest opportunity.”
Industry News: Children’s Commissioner and Labour join opposition to legislation reducing children in care duties
Anne Longfield and shadow minister for children say new regulations should be revoked, while Labour peer questions whether it is 'constitutional abuse' to reintroduce changes rejected in 2017 in pandemic emergency legislation
The Children’s Commissioner for England and Labour have joined a growing chorus of opposition to new legislation that removes or reduces local authority duties to children in care, ostensibly to relieve pressures relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Anne Longfield said she was “extremely concerned” about the changes, which affect 10 sets of regulations and were introduced via a statutory instrument last week.
She added that she believed they should be revoked because there was not “sufficient justification to introduce them”. Following her comments, Labour’s shadow minister for children, Tulip Siddiq, said on Twitter: “I agree with the Children’s Commissioner for England. Having raised concerns last week and spoken to sector representatives, it seems like children may be put in harm’s way by these changes. They should be revoked.”
The new regulations suspend duties on social workers to visit children every six weeks, remove requirements for care plans to be reviewed six-monthly and relax standards governing children’s homes, fostering and adoption.
They attracted criticism from across the sector when they were published on 23 April.
The amendments came into force the next day without sitting before Parliament for 21 days, as is customary, and lapse on 25 September 2020. They can though be extended by a further statutory instrument.
An explanatory memorandum subsequently issued by the Department for Education (DfE) said the government had consulted with representative bodies.
The document mentioned the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and the Local Government Association (LGA), adding that the commissioner had been “informed”. The commissioner’s office moved quickly to clarify that there had been no actual discussion with the DfE.
An ADCS comment on Twitter also denied that the association – which has faced scrutiny over its role – had benefited from active input into which areas of legislation might be appropriate to relax for social workers during the pandemic.
Longfield’s statement went further, attacking the legislative changes for having been implemented “with minimal consultation” and without adherence to the 21-day rule.
The government has claimed waiting would have placed “extraordinary pressure” on local authorities and other providers trying to meet statutory obligation during the coronavirus outbreak.
“However, the reports I have been receiving from local authorities are that staffing for social care is holding up well,” said Longfield, echoing the accounts of many social workers with whom Community Care has spoken in recent weeks.
“It therefore appears that bringing in these regulatory changes to ease excessive strain on a depleted workforce, and to do so without the opportunity for public scrutiny, is not justified,” the commissioner added.
Government guidance on the use of the legislative amendments, which the chief social worker Isabelle Trowler said earlier this week was due imminently, had not been issued at the time this article was published.
In a related development, the statutory instrument also came under cross-party scrutiny in the House of Lords on Thursday.
In an exchange with Baroness Berridge, the minister for the school system, Labour peer Lord Howarth of Newport questioned whether it was a “constitutional abuse for the government to have used the emergency coronavirus legislation to make a major and hugely controversial policy change of a nature that has been explicitly rejected by parliament in 2017”.
Critics of the statutory instrument have pointed out that many of the ways in which duties have been removed or reduced mirror proposals the government attempted – and failed – to introduce as part of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Many fear that those measures have now been introduced via the back door under the new secondary legislation.
Article 39, the children’s rights charity that has led opposition to the changes, has invited individuals and organisations to publicly register their objections.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is also preparing a legal challenge to the new regulations on behalf of Article 39, the legal journalist Catherine Baksi said on Twitter.
In response to peers’ questions, Berridge said the measures were “a minimal change to the procedural requirements in relation to children’s social care” and were “intended to be a temporary measure to enable the limited flexibility that local authorities need at this time” to prioritise resource.
Meanwhile children’s minister Vicky Ford, in a letter to the Guardian, described the changes as “allowing [social workers] to make pragmatic decisions through minor, temporary amendments to regulations, while always keeping children’s safety paramount”.
“I hope these flexibilities will not have to be used,” Ford said in the letter. “But it is my responsibility to those who care for our most vulnerable children and families to provide the necessary tools to make the right decisions during these challenging times.”
Changes to protection system condemned as ‘deregulation on steroids’
Changes to legal protections for children in care, introduced by the UK government as an emergency response to the coronavirus crisis, have been condemned as “deregulation on steroids” by children’s rights campaigners.
Activists described the decision to relax 10 key sets of regulations, developed over decades to protect the most vulnerable children in society, as an “outrageous assault on safeguards” and warned that children would be harmed.
One of the key relaxations, which came into force last Friday, is the removal of the requirement for a social worker to visit – or even telephone – a child in care every six weeks, reducing it to “as soon as is reasonably practicable”.
The requirement for a six-monthly review of a child’s care, introduced following the manslaughter of the 12-year-old Dennis O’Neill by his foster carers in 1944, has been similarly relaxed, and adoption and fostering panels which allow for independent scrutiny have become optional.
The government says the measures are temporary – expiring on 25 September – and will allow overstretched children’s services greater flexibility, but there are fears that the coronavirus crisis is being used as an excuse to relax children’s social care duties and the expiry date could be revoked.
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq has written to the children’s minister Vicky Ford calling on the government to publish data to show the impact on vulnerable children. Her Labour colleague Emma Lewell-Buck has posted a series of parliamentary questions to find out more about the process which led to the amendments. “They are using this pandemic to experiment with vulnerable children,” she said.
The measures were introduced by the government as part of emergency coronavirus legislation, via a statutory instrument. Campaigners are concerned there was no public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny and they say many of the changes have been proposed by the government before.
Carolyne Willow, the director of Article 39, a charity that campaigns for the rights of children in institutional settings, said it was “deregulation on steroids”.
She said: “This outright assault on safeguards protecting the most vulnerable children is outrageous. Safeguards are there to protect children from harm, so it goes without saying that these changes forced through without any public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny will harm children.
“The government has produced no evidence to back up its claim that changes to 10 different sets of regulations are in response to the pressures of lockdown. It has also conveniently omitted to mention that this is the fourth time since 2016 that ministers have tried to impose mass deregulation in children’s social care.”
Enver Solomon, the chief executive of Just for Kids Law, added: “At this time of national crisis, in its role as corporate parent the government should be going the extra mile for every child in care. It’s astonishing that isn’t the case and truly shocking that instead government has chosen to weaken the support offered to some of the country’s most vulnerable children.”
There is growing concern about vulnerable children during lockdown. Schools have remained open to them, as well as children of key workers, to provide some protection but the numbers attending are small. Latest figures show 10% of children “in need” and those with education, health and care plans are turning up at school – up from 5% earlier in the pandemic.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “While the vast majority of statutory duties remain unchanged, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to help reduce pressure on the system and enable children’s services to continue to support vulnerable children during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Industry News: Charity blasts legislation relaxing duties to children in care under Covid-19 as ‘destroying safeguards’
Article 39 accuses government of using Covid-19 as an excuse for revisiting attempts to allow councils to opt out of statutory responsibilities
A children’s rights charity has slammed legislation to relax councils’ social care duties during the pandemic as a move by government to use coronavirus to “destroy children’s safeguards”.
In a statement issued last night, Carolyne Willow, the director of Article 39, said new statutory instrument – published yesterday and implemented today – amounted to “deregulation on steroids”.
The legislation, which relaxes a range of duties relating to children in care – including around visits by social workers and independent reviews – bypasses the convention that statutory instruments sit before Parliament for 21 days before coming into force. It remains in force until 25 September 2020 but can be extended by a further statutory instrument.
An accompanying document issued by the government last night said the changes were needed to help councils prioritise needs at a time of staffing shortages and increased demand, and that waiting 21 days would “put extraordinary pressure on local authorities, providers and services to try to meet statutory obligations while
continuing to provide care for vulnerable children and young people during the outbreak”.
It said the decision was taken following informal consultation with sector bodies who had said that the changes needed to be implemented urgently. The document said that among those consulted were the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and Ofsted, and that the Children’s Commissioner for England had been informed.
But Willow said: “The idea that local authorities have been clamouring to remove fundamental legal protections from vulnerable children during the middle of a global pandemic is just not credible.
“It is soul-destroying that so much time and effort has been put into systematically eroding the rights of children,” she added.
Willow noted that many of the changes made under the new secondary legislation had been seen before, under 2016 proposals to allow councils to opt out of some duties, which were heavily criticised and then withdrawn by government.
“It’s an insult to children to suggest that Covid-19 is the cause of this,” Willow said. “Having spent hours going through the statutory instrument line-by-line, I haven’t been able to find a single new protection for children. The whole document is about taking away, diminishing and undermining what has been built up for children over many decades.”
Social work visits requirement replaced
Guidance published earlier in April also attracted criticism for stating that councils would not be able to meet all their duties during coronavirus, but not specifying the conditions under which that might be acceptable or legal. The document was also viewed by some as taking an overly relaxed view as to children’s social workers’ needs for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Yesterday’s publication by contrast amends a number of specific areas of legislation.
Some of the key changes are:
‘Business as usual’
Responding to the concerns, ADCS president Jenny Coles said: “We recognise the concerns raised about the statutory instrument affording some flexibilities to local authorities due to the outbreak of Covid-19, however, it’s important to recognise that all local authorities and their staff will continue working hard to ensure that we can fulfil our statutory responsibilities to children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable.
“The best interests of children and families remain at the heart of any decision made by local authorities.”
Claudia Megele, the chair of the Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PCFSW) Network, which was involved in discussions with the DfE, said that the greater flexibility within statutory guidance would be helpful for practitioners and local authorities.
“To some degree [this] mitigates the pressures experienced by practitioners during this time,” she said. “I have active communication with many PSWs and practitioners and they are more committed than ever to protect children and young people, listen to their voice and aim to achieve their best interests.”
Megele said that as far as possible, all children’s PSWs were aiming to maintain “business as usual” during the pandemic. “Even if a home visit is virtual, they still aim to achieve the same objectives as a physical, face-to-face home visit,” she said.
But Megele also warned that some of the changes could have “significant adverse effect” in the long run, and stressed that their timespan must remain limited.
“[The changes relating to children’s homes] allow the appointment of unqualified staff when there are complex issues and problems that require well-skilled and experienced staff,” she said. “Another example is the de facto suspension of the duty to report infectious diseases to Ofsted’s chief inspector – this is concerning given that we are in the middle of a pandemic and dealing with a highly infectious disease.”
Megele also said she was worried about the watering down of IROs’ duties through the relaxing of timescales for reviews of looked-after children’s care.
“Although the flexibility in timescales is necessary and helpful, there are concerns about de facto suspension of some of the safeguarding responsibilities at a time when children and young people may need our support more than ever before,” she said.
‘Hard-won rights not bureaucratic processes’
In its response to the changes, the British Association of Social Workers warned that “hard won rights in law are not simply bureaucratic processes but exist to protect children and young people and promote their well-being”.
It said that, particularly when compared with the parallel changes to adult social care law – the Care Act easements enacted under the Coronavirus Act 2020 – there was “an absence of a clear, documented and facilitated process for the rationale, structured introduction and delivering of the regulations for local authorities”.
The association added: “The risk is that significant changes are ‘dribbled in’ on a case by case basis with no explicit rationale either within or between local authorities.”
‘No time to trial changes’
June Thoburn, an emeritus professor of social work at the University of East Anglia, said she was worried – in light of comments made by children’s minister Vicky Ford to the education select committee this week that the statutory instrument covered “lower-risk” areas – about the potential for the new amendments to be used as a “trial” for longer-term change.
“No reputable researcher, planner or scientist would think that in this exceptional period one could gather evidence on which to base long-term changes, especially when [they] could profoundly limit the legal rights of children and families living in the most disadvantaged circumstances,” she said.
Thoburn added that she was particularly concerned about the changes regarding fostering and adoption, which she said could be used to speed children’s journeys through the system at a time when court scrutiny was weakened.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, chief executive of children in care charity Become, said: “We are deeply concerned about the implications of these emergency changes to the rights of vulnerable children in care and care leavers. While we understand the pressures local authorities are currently under, the vagueness of these changes risks the safety of those who need protecting the most.
“We are also astonished that the government believes the impact of its amendments are limited given the greater risks vulnerable children and young people could now face. We urge the government to rethink this approach and provide far more clarity. They must also routinely assess and publish the impact of any changes over the next six months. Where the regulations are found to be placing children and young people at risk of harm, we expect the government to reconsider its approach as soon as possible.”
‘Strongest possible safeguards needed’
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Children’s Commissioner’s Office stressed that while the organisation had been informed of these changes, there had been no consultation with the DfE.
“This is a time when children are particularly vulnerable and local authorities need to be more proactive than ever in reaching out to vulnerable families,” the spokesperson said.
“The government needs to be putting the support in place to help them do this, with the right testing, PPE equipment and support for workforce recruitment,” the spokesperson added. “If there was ever a need to consider any relaxation of regulations as a last resort, it must be accompanied by the strongest possible safeguards, used for the shortest possible time and regularly reviewed by DfE in a very transparent way.”
Labour responded similarly to the regulations, shadow minister for children and early years Tulip Siddiq, saying: “Of course we understand the huge pressures that councils are under at the moment and the need to prioritise the most urgent obligations to those in need. But we must ensure that this significant relaxation of councils’ duties to protect vulnerable children does not increase the risk of harm and is strictly temporary.
“The government must collect and publish information about any statutory obligations that aren’t being met and assess the impact. If these changes lead to bad outcomes for the most vulnerable children, Ministers must immediately reconsider their approach.”
In her appearance before the education select committee on Wednesday, Ford stressed that directors of children’s services should use the new flexibilities “if they need it” and that “safeguarding must come first”.
“They should always do what they would normally do first,” she added, but said the provisions gave councils the flexibility they needed, “on a risk assessed basis”.
A National Voice, the ‘National Children in Care Council’ will launch an online community through social media on Wednesday 8 April 2020, for care experienced children and young people.
Having joined Coram Voice in 2017, A National Voice aims to improve the care system through the voices of care experienced young people, supporting them to push for change at local and national level. During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that young care experienced voices are heard and we continue to interact. We have therefore decided to relaunch A National Voice virtually on @CoramVoice, and we are looking forward to holding discussions.
As part of the campaign we will hold regular live twitter conversations under the #ANationalVoice hashtag with both young people and the professionals that work with them.
We will be talking about the things that are important to you and encouraging debate around people’s experiences with the care system, changes they would like to see and ways Coram Voice can better support them. We will also be providing links to useful resources and sharing events, activities and opportunities happening with children in care and care leavers at a local and national level.
Future plans include using the platform to let young people know about events and activities we are holding, including an ‘art club’ for children in care and care leavers to submit their art. This will have a weekly theme and be showcased each week on Instagram. There will also be a number of virtual events for young people to link with others in a safe, online space carefully led and moderated by our participation team.
We also want to know what you want to talk about, so let us know what you are interested in and conversations you want to have.
If you are or know any children in care or care leavers who want to get involved in conversations around what’s important to them, head over to Twitter to find out when our next A National Voice conversation will be taking place.
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