What Happens When You Bring A Couple Of Hundred Care Experienced People Together?
I guess you could say, a revolution!
The Care Experienced Conference brought together hundreds of care experienced people from the age of 14-82.
The conference, ‘the care experience – past, present and future’ was a national conference for care experienced people and the wider care community.
Sadly this was an event I missed and would have loved to attend because something is stirring amongst the care experienced community.
Something big is happening, and it feels like the wind of change is coming!
During the conference and via workshops, the care experienced community put together the Top 10 Messages that care experienced people past and present rank highest in their list of pain points. They have shared those ten messages freely.
I know when I read the ten messages and the reports from the conference, I felt slightly overwhelmed. The contents touched me in those places I seldom venture, they resonated in the deep places.
As these top ten messages come from care experienced people, you have now got information from the horse’s mouth. You can put it to use when supporting your young people’s outcomes.
How can we use this information?
Very often, we long for a window of wisdom into the world of the looked after child.
- What are they thinking?
- How do they feel?
- What do they need from us?
Now you have answers and can start to make use of the top ten messages in your service.
Bring the top ten messages to life in young people’s meetings and key work sessions.
- Use the top ten messages to open discussion in a young people’s meeting (or key work) as to whether they identify with any of the top ten messages?
- If they do, you can ask the question, how do we make this better for you?
- THEN USE their feedback to make improvements!
- Keep the dialogue open.
Use the top ten points as a reflective practice tool in staff meetings and child-focused meetings.
Ask the staff/therapists/teachers what they think are the top points looked after children might be concerned about or want to see changed?
- Get the consensus.
- Compare the responses with the top ten messages.
- Open up the discussion.
- Ask what can we do with this knowledge to improve our service delivery?
- Add each point to your quality monitoring.
- Continually ask, what do we need to do to embed these messages in our practice?
- Keep a record of lessons learned from implementing the strategies above.
The top ten messages are but the tip of the iceberg!
To gain even more insight into your young people’s needs and the issues, they face now, and in the future, you need to delve into the full report.
You can be sure these questions and how you respond to them will resonate with Ofsted inspectors. You can read more about it on the National Directors Blog.
The Children’s Commissioner has a thing or two to say about it too.