On 27 October the Participation Team hosted a brilliant virtual event as part of National Care Leavers Week. Build Back Better for Devon’s care leavers connected care-experienced young people with senior managers and leaders from across the Devon Safeguarding Children Partnership, so that Devon’s decision makers could hear first-hand the lived experiences and needs of care leavers – including the impact that COVID-19 has had on their lives.
The evening event was led by several Experts by Experience (care-experienced young people) who put forward their own views and experiences, as well as representing the opinions of the wider community of care leavers in Devon. They then set out their ideas for how the system could be improved.
Six key topics were covered, as set out in our local offer to care leavers. At the end of each topic, the floor was opened up for questions before senior leaders responded and outlined the actions that will be taken to ensure that we do all we can to meet the needs of care leavers in future.
DCC Chief Executive, Phil Norrey, was impressed with the “really high quality well expressed and powerful presentations”. Meanwhile Jo Olsson, Chief Officer for Children’s Services, said, “It was a great presentation from young people on emotional health and well-being for children in care and care leavers”.
The workshop was designed so that the needs of care leavers are put squarely at the heart of the vision and ambition for our COVID-19 recovery and beyond. The challenge now for all of us, then, is to not only confirm that we have listened, but also to demonstrate that we have understood the needs of care leavers and how we are going to meet these needs.
For more information about this work please get in touch via the Participation Team mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org)