Being looked after away from home can be a difficult and confusing time and we want you to be happy and do well while you're in our care.
The following information shows you the different ways that looked after children and young people can get their views across and be heard while being cared for.
- The Surrey Care Council is made up of young people, aged 13+, who are looked after by us and meet every month to discuss things affecting them in care. There's also Care Council Junior for those aged 8-13 and they meet every month. If you'd like more information, please call: 01483 519464 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- You have the right to be listened to and treated fairly - your rights and complaints.
- At your review meetings.
Mind of my Own - the Children's Rights service can support you to make complaints if you are unhappy with the services you receive, including support with advocacy (helping you have your voice heard). You can also use the Mind of my Own app (PDF) (Mind of my Own) to sort out a problem. Some young people use app to share their wishes and feelings before reviews. It allows some young people that may not have any input into their reviews to have the input that they want. The app has been developed with young people and is now being used more and more. You can downloaded the app via the App Store and the Google Play store.
The following video explains how a review meeting works for you.
Your review meetings - It's about your future
What is a review?
It is a meeting that takes place for all children and young people who are looked after by a local authority. The meeting lets you have your say. It gets people together to check out how things are going for you, what's worked well since you've come into care or your last meeting, what we're worried about, what we need to do to address the worries, and to see if anything in your care plan needs to change.
What is a Care Plan?
Children and young people are looked after for many reasons and each has their own care plan. This plan sets out what you need, what needs to be done to meet your needs and how you will be cared for.
Do I need to go to my review?
Yes, it is your meeting and we would like you to be part of it. How you are part of your review is your choice and needs to be what's best for you. You can stay for the whole meeting or be in a room nearby where you can hear what is being said. Or you may want someone to come with you to help you speak up. If you don't want to attend the meeting you could write down your thoughts and concerns and your social worker or someone you choose, will read out your thoughts.
Where are reviews held?
It's important that your review takes place somewhere where you will be comfortable. Some children prefer it at home, others want it in a council building or at school. You should be asked where you would prefer your review to be held.
Who else will be there?
It's your meeting, so only the people you want to be there will be invited. You can talk to your social worker about who you want to be there. Before the review all those involved in your care will be asked how they think you are getting on. The review consultation forms that they are asked to complete can be found at the bottom of this page.
When do reviews happen and how long do they take?
The first meeting will take place one month after you are first looked after and then within three months, then usually every five to six months, but they can happen more often if it's felt this is necessary. If there are any big changes, like a move to new carers you may have one then too. The time and date should suit you and the length of time depends on how much there is to talk about.
What happens at reviews?
You should talk this over with your carer or social worker before the review and you can meet with your independent reviewing officer (IRO) before the review to decide how you want to be involved. You might want to take the lead in chairing the meeting, with the support of your IRO or you might want to write things down using the participation booklet - "Let's Talk About"(PDF).
What if I don't understand something?
At the meeting you and other people there will talk about how things are going, what is working well, what you are worried about and what needs to happen next? If you don't understand what someone says you can ask them, your social worker or your independent reviewing officer (IRO) to explain.
You also have the right to make a complaint. If you don't already know how to do this you can contact the Children's Rights and Advocacy Service on freephone 08000 562 132 (Please note, this number is not free from mobiles), text 07805 846 386 or email: email@example.com
If you, your parents, foster carers or adoptive parents would like more information about the independent reviewing officer and the review meeting process please click on the attachments below.
Support for you
- Face to face - we can visit you with your Social worker
- Guide to a Review Meeting (PDF)
- Let's Talk About (PDF) - participation booklet
- IRO Introduction letter/pledge (PDF)
Support for families
- A review guide for parents (PDF)
- A review guide for adopters (PDF)
- A review guide for foster carers, residential workers, connected person (PDF)
- A review guide for professionals (PDF)