NLCBF MANAGERS EVENT- LEEDS- 22/11/17 – 24/11/17
The National leaving care benchmark forum event was over three days; it involved working together, meeting new people, sharing good practice and presenting information to managers from all over the country. The young people from the bench marking forum normally include care lavers who are working in a participation role, undertaking training or an apprentice role or actively involved in participation work with their children in care council. They presented to over 100 managers about the work they have been doing so far and how it can make changes to services, improve experiences and learning plus much more. We were hoping our catering company would win the award for all their hard work done with our children in care council; OVOS. It was a competition and Northern Ireland won “Best Co – Produced Project”. But Solihull’s project did get a special mention which was “Solihull Catering project should go on tour – every local authority should have this project – it is an excellent example of corporate parenting.” Our very own apprentice was involved in this event and commented ‘it was scary but we all supported each other’.
NLCBM- Leeds- January 18th 2018
The National leaving care bench marking forum event in Leeds was based around corporate parenting, what had councils been doing to illustrate this and how could it be better.
There were presentations from Leeds and Yorkshire and they spoke about successes within their own council.
The group were able to go around and talk to other care leavers and children in care and look at what they have done well and what areas could be improved. Each council was able to show some examples of work done. We had one young person attend and our apprentice. There were some great ideas gathered that have been shared in regards to the local offer.
There were also contacts made with other councils to arrange future visits to share good practice.
APPG- London – 6th February
Our OVOS Care Leaver and staff member attended, The All Party Parliamentary Group which focused on emotional and mental health. It involved many guest speakers, including a minster sharing his experience when his family moved to this country and how most of the support received was good but there needs more focus on emotional health and well being.
There were talks about ‘The Green Paper’ and how they are bridging the gap between school and mental health services and how they are improving the support received by training staff to be designated mental health leads along with other proposed changes.
One care leaver spoke about their experience with mental health and the lack of support he received during this time, that there needs more to be done from the start.
There was also discussion around transition from leaving care and not being able to access CAMHS; as classed ‘as an adult’ and it depends on what type of mental health experience you are going through to even get some support.
The department for Education are looking into possible changes to help support some of the points discussed; one proposal was to look at social workers case loads.
Regional CICC- Worcester- 21st February.
The regional Children in Care Conference was a brilliant day, we had six members from our OVOS group attend, our apprentices and 3 members of staff. We had surprise visit from Simon Rushall who came to support us. The day was well planned, informative and great for sharing good practice with other CICC’S.
The workshops that were ran that day were; how to support your CICC, Pupil Education Plans (PEPS), create your own superhero, RSPCC, and independent skills. Each person could choose what workshop they wished to participate in.
The last part of the afternoon was showcase the work done by each CICC, then others could walk around, talk, share contact details and ideas with each other. It was really useful and we look forward to maybe hosting next years event. More to follow on this!