Awards Spotlight - Children in Care Council
Introducing the Children in Care Council, Inspiring Youth Award Winner
How would you explain what you do to someone completely unfamiliar with your work? The role of a ‘Children’s Champion’ is to support children and young people with care experience to ensure their voices are heard in a meaningful way. I ensure children and young people are given opportunities to improve the services they access by enabling them to have an influence in the decision making. I support children and young people to attend The Corporate Parenting Board to share with elected members of the Council issues that matter to them and discuss how they can impact change. I ensure opportunities available to children and young people are promoted and accessible.
My favourite aspect of my role is creating a safe space for growth, having ambitions for children and young people whilst promoting aspirations and watching them become confident young people with improved self-esteem who can contribute to their community and feel valued.
What is your proudest moment from the work you’ve done in your community? I am always proud when children and young people develop skills understand they have rights and can articulate them in a positive way, build positive peer friendship groups and contribute to the wider community. I celebrate all organisations who are inclusive and ensure, when working with children and young people, that they are placed at the centre of their work.
What floats your boat outside of work? Laughter, fun and positive vibes.
What is your vision for Walsall in the next five years, especially within your sector? My vision is for engagement and participation of children and young people to be embedded in practice and is always at the forefront of any work undertaken with young people who access a service.
As children and young people play an integral role in improving service delivery, we use their expertise to improve the services in creative ways that includes all children and young people. We need to ensure all children and young people are listened to and professionals have the time to ensure this happens.
Legislation informs us the voice of children and young people have the right to have their voice heard, which needs to be reinforced and as corporate parents we continue to fulfil our corporate parenting duties and responsibilities.
What have you learnt from the last nine months that you will be applying in your area of work going forward? Adapting to new ways of working with modern technology which will now be the new norm, utilising Teams and social media more to ensure a wider reach of engagement and participation of young people. However, I recognise that one size does not fit all and some young people are not the experts we think they are with social media.
I’ve learnt not to assume everyone as access to wifi and when developing online engagements we have things put in place to ensure inclusivity.