Agenda item

Participation of children and Young people in Middlesbrough

Hannah Wiseman, Progamme Manager - Specialist and Targeted will provide an update to the Board.



The Chair welcome, Kathy Peacock, Youth Voice and Influencer Contractor from Participation People to the meeting, who provided an overview of the work undertaken with children and young people since January 2022. The Board also were pleased to welcome Xavier Davies, Care Leaver / apprentice for Middlebrough Council who was now working directly with Participation on Care to promote in care Councils.


The Board were provided with a quick recap of the role of participation and the key officers assigned to Middlesbrough. Kathy explained she joined Participation People in November 2021, 2 days a week to help Middlesbrough Council re-establish the in care councils. Other than the in care councils, there were other projects, however the Board would be updated on these in due course.

In terms of progress to date, the Board were advised that:


·        Over the Christmas period, 135 care leavers were messaged telling them about the Care Leavers Forum. Seven young people joined and actively join on a Thursday evening.

·        The In Care councils are being promoted and Kathy has meet with key managers to inform them about the groups. All teams sent invites for their young people to attend the Mini Children in Care Council (CiCC), Children in Care Council (CiCC ) and Care Leavers Forum. This is done on a strategic level to help improve and deliver services.

·        Mid- January launch of the Care Experienced #YouthVoice groups.

·        Mini CiCC - 3 sessions held for children aged 7 to 12 years. Unfortuantly there have been no young people at these sessions. The groups were still held and promoted with foster carers/ social workers , however experience, it is harder to get this age range to come out therefore a day of fun activities was planned for 24 February 2022 , as part of a recruitment drive and gain a sense of whether young people wish to attend the group, or whether they want a different type of engagement. 

·        Children in Care Council - this group meets weekly. 4 sessions have been held and 2 young people participate. These are amazing young people who have helped design events and look at ways to engage further for children in care.

·        Care Leaver's Forum - this group meets weekly. 4 sessions have been held and as stated 7 young people have engaged.

·        Kathy has attended the Designated Teacher conference, emails to be sent informing them about the groups to share with their young people.

·        The officer advised that they were flexible to engage with young people.

·        Joined the closed Middlesbrough Fostering Facebook group – and posted regarding the sessions. Kathy received questions regarding these so she was able to promote and explain further about the groups.


The Board further heard from Xavier, who shared the posters which had been designed to promote the groups. The Board were keen for these to be promoted, and these would be circulated to the group after the meeting as well as the Virtual Schools. The posters had been circulated to managers, and to Paul Rudd to promote with independent fostering agencies.


From the care leavers forum, the young people have identifies issues which are important to them, these were as follows:



1.      Trust in the people who support us

2.      No False promises made

3.      An understanding of what makes a positive/negative relationship

4.      A trusting relationship with our Social Worker/PA

5.      Access to ID - Passport, Birth Certificate, Provisional (and Full) Driving License and National Insurance Number

6.      Information about how we can access to our care records / what is the process and who do we go too?

7.      More preparation to live independently

8.      More support for care leavers who become parents


In terms of future plans for 2022, Xavier advised the Board of the following:


·        Celebration/activity sessions for care experienced young people to be held during school holidays - February, April and May

·        All Team meetings to be attended to inform them about the groups and ensure they have young people attend.

·        Older care experienced young people to join young people from Hounslow and Wandsworth on a residential in March 2022.

·        Residential Homes to be visited to discuss these groups with staff and their young people

·        Rescheduled Care Leavers Celebration event to be held on the 23rd February (delayed due to Covid 19)

·        Survey to be sent to all care experienced young people asking them questions about their Health, Education setting, Voice and Support

·        Create #YouthVoice on the road- capturing the voice of young people who do not wish to attend a group.


Finally, the Roadmap for 2022 was shared with the Board, and one element which was discussed was training for corporate parents, which would be co-arranged with Xavier and Care leavers.


Following the presentation, a Board member raised concern regarding the access to I.D. In response, the Board were assured that participation people were having discussions with the Principle social worker. The Director of Children’s Services further outlined that this would be made a focus ging forward.


The young person’s views were shared this week and from this a ‘YOU SAID, WE WILL DO’ document has been created. The Head of Looked after children and Corporate Parenting advised that this has been shared and officers are working on responses. An update would be provided at the next meeting.


In terms of the in care councils, the question of accessibility was raised and this would be considered, as well as looking at when groups should be held e.g school holidays. Events had already been diarised for the Easter and May holidays as well as virtual events.


The Chief Executive addressed the Board and wanted to make sure that any promises / strategies would be agreed by Executive/ Council. This would be discussed.

A Board member also wanted to ensure that children and young people were properly supported after an issue was raised. In response, Kathy stated that they have a responsibility for those young people and if issues were identified, there would be a follow up conversation and the correct support would be sources.


The officers were thanked for their presentation.




1.      That the information be noted

2.      That the In care Council posters be circulated to all Board members.


Supporting documents: