There are lots of ways that young people in care and care leavers can get their voices heard and get involved.
Care Council is for young people looked after by Surrey between the ages of 13-25. The group meets monthly to discuss what they'd like to stop, start and change about being a young person in care. Members of Care Council make a big difference in improving services for young people in and leaving care. There are some great activities you can take part in and fun trips out to places like Thorpe Park! There is also a Care Council Juniors group for those aged 8-13 years old which also meets monthly.
For more information visit the Surrey Care Council webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oscarz is an annual awards ceremony for looked after children and care leavers. It is a great event where we get the chance to recognise the hard work looked after young people may have done throughout the year. Over 75 young people were welcomed to the event last year and over 100 nominations from workers were received. The categories last year included Education, Sports, Personal, Participation and Employment. Young people were given refreshments on arrival, and a buffet was available throughout the evening. This year the Oscarz will take place on 1 November 2019. For more information email email@example.com
The Big Survey
The Big Survey is an annual online confidential questionnaire to help find out young peoples' views on being in care and how to improve our services. It's a great way for you to tell us how we're performing and what we can do to make things better for you. The survey usually takes place around January time, please check this page for more information nearer the time.
Surrey Skills Fest
The Surrey Skills Fest is an event run each summer for looked after children and care leavers. It's a bit like a festival with lots of different stalls and the main aims of the day are to have fun and promote independence. Each stall is interactive with a fun activity and teaches you some type of valuable life skill you will need in the future. Some of the stalls that have been run in the past include cooking, health, D.I.Y and budgeting. There's also fun activities to take part in. The 2019 Surrey Skills Fest took place in Guildford with around 150 children and young people in attendance. The event featured everything from life skills workshops, football, inflatables and face painting to animals and live music! Keep an eye on this page for information about the 2020 Surrey Skills Fest.
Surrey Youth Cabinet
Surrey Youth Cabinet is a group of young people aged 11-19 (or up to 25 with additional needs) representing youth participation groups and the 11 boroughs in Surrey. All of the members live, work or study within Surrey and their aim is to allow young people in Surrey to have a voice in their community and be heard at Council and Parliamentary level about issues that affect them. For more information about how to get involved visit the Youth Collective website.
Complaints and Advocacy
If you are a looked after child or care leaver and you are not happy with a service you are receiving from Surrey County Council then you can get your voice heard by making a complaint. Similarly, if you have received a really good service and would like to say thank you or would just like to make a suggestion or provide some feedback about a service then you can do this too. To find out more about complaints and advocacy, visit the comments and complaints webpage.