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Children in Care - Have your say

Being looked after away from home can be a difficult and confusing time, but we want you to be happy and do well while you're in our care.

Below is information on the different ways that looked after children and young people can get their views across and are 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 three months.
  • At your review meetings.
  • You have the right to be listened to and treated fairly - your rights and complaints.

The video below which 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 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 come you could write down what you think and your social worker or someone you choose, will read out your thoughts.

Where are reviews held?

The best place is somewhere you find comfortable. Some children prefer it being where they live, others want it in a council building or at school. You should be asked where you would prefer the 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 - six months, but they can happen more if it's felt this is necessary, or if there are big changes - like a move to new carers. The time and date should suit you. 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".

What if I don't understand something?

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 (not free from mobiles), text 07805 846 386 or email: be.heard@surreycc.gov.uk.

If you, your parents, foster carers or adopting parents would like more information about the independent reviewing officer and the review meeting process please click on the attachments below.

Support for you

Support for families

Review consultation forms

The Surrey Care Council

At Care Council we:

  • chat about the things that are important to children and young people in care.
  • take all the issues and things we want to change to the top managers in the corporate parenting group at Surrey.
  • meet other young people in care and make new friends.
  • go on fun days out doing things like go-karting and concerts and lots more with the group.

Being a part of Care Council means you:

  • can get involved in 'recruit crew' and help interview any new workers in Surrey.
  • can take issues to the corporate parenting board (a group of senior managers who have the power to change things).
  • have the chance to become a professional and help train social workers and foster carers who work with children and young people – this is called total respect training.
  • meet up once a month for discussions, food and activities.
  • make a difference to the care system.

Contact

  • Email: care.council@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Text: 07896 998 796
  • Freephone: 08000 562 132 (not free from mobiles)

What have we been up to?

Surrey Skills Fest 2017

Surrey Skills Fest was held in Guildford on 1 July 2017. It was attended by over 100 young people and carers alongside more than 50 staff and volunteers.

The event is now in its fourth year and it aims to promote independent living skills to our looked after children and care leavers. The event was supported by Surrey Arts who opened the event with a Samba band performance which included staff and young people. They also closed the event with Surrey's Got Talent, this amazing show included performances from young people, some had even written songs about their experiences. Big thanks to David McNulty who attended and performed alongside young people.

The main event included stalls and workshops from our partners and other agencies including Surrey Police, Health and even the Royal Horticultural Society. Young people participated in workshops that covered budgeting, cookery, DIY, health, personal safety and getting a job. The majority of young people who attended told us they had learned new skills and had a great time. They also enjoyed spending time with staff who were helping them.

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who came along and supported. We will be running Skills Fest again next year, if you would like to get involved please contact Jo Lang.

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