Why Participation and Engagement?
Participation and Engagement gives children and young people a chance to be involved in shaping and designing the support and services they can use. It is about listening to what matters most to them and taking their views seriously.
Participation and Engagement Principles
- Children, young people have equal opportunity to be involved in shaping and designing the services they use.
- Children, young peoples’ views are valued.
- The involvement of children, young people is a visible commitment which is properly supported.
- The involvement of children and young people is monitored, evaluated, reported and improved
How does our Young People’s Voice inform and influence what we do?
An essential way of collecting views on the services we provide is through feedback. We use creative and user-friendly methods to gain feedback from the children, young people and the families we work with.
Examples include feedback being gathered at important points within a child’s life using drawings and child friendly booklets; feedback calls to families at the end of service support.
Children and young people are encouraged to get involved in a range of different participation groups and activities.
The Rutland Youth Council (RYC) has members from all secondary academies and independent schools in Rutland. This is the formal decision making group representing youth voice across the county.
The Rutland Disabled Youth Forum is run by young people with a variety of special educational needs and disabilities and provides feedback to many different organisations.
The Young Inspectors have completed training to give them with the skills to undertake a range of quality assurance audits on services working for and with children and young people across the county.
The Children in Care Council (CIC) known in Rutland as the SUSO (Speak Up, Speak Out) are involved in reviewing the support and services offered to children living in foster care placements and for care leavers. Their feedback is reported directly to the Corporate Parenting Board.
Young people can get involved in one off activities such as, national Take-Over Day and our Make Your Mark campaign. There are specialist support services in place to help young people to make sure their views are heard – such as Independent Advocacy for children in care or subject to a child protection plan; Aiming High for children with disabilities; as well as various Young Carers groups.
How do our parents and carers influence what we do?
Parents/ and Carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are represented by the Rutland Parent Carer Voice (RPCV) on the Children’s Trust Board which influences all the support in place in Rutland.
Parents and Carers sit on the SEND Strategic group and are currently shaping how money will be spent in Rutland to improve education for children with SEND.
Parents sit on interview panels to recruit new staff.
We gather foster carers feedback verbally at our monthly support groups and regularly ask how we can improve the service offered to them and to the children. We gather views for the Fostering Panel and ask for feedback from their birth children. There are foster carers on the Corporate Parenting Board.
The Children’s Centre undertakes evaluations after each activity as well as feedback exercises at the end of group work programmes. Families also asked to complete satisfaction surveys on a quarterly basis. A ‘You said We do’ approach is used to evidence to families that their views are listened to and acted upon.
What do we do with our feedback?
Here are some examples of how services have been changed and shaped by views of children and young people:
- In the Take Over day in 2016 our young carers they told us they wanted cheaper gym membership and as a result a ‘Young Carers Card’ was produced giving them lower cost health and fitness opportunities as well as discounts from other local businesses.
- Our Youth Council responded to the national consultation on the Green Paper on the future of Mental Health and Emotional Well Being services in the UK (March 2018).
- Our Disabled Youth Forum has shaped the layout and content of the Preparing for Adulthood pages of the Local Offer website.
We use feedback from audits, and complaints and compliments to plan our training and development programme to make sure that support and services are improved