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Knowsley recognised for ‘Investing in Children’ in care

by Sandra Issar

Knowsely Council’s services for children and young people in care have been recognised for inclusive practice with the Investing in Children Membership Award.

The team which delivers the services, the Safeguarding & Quality Assurance Team, had to illustrate its engagement with children and young people in care, while crucially the children and young people themselves had to demonstrate the changes their input has made.

Young people from MADE, the council’s Children in Care Council, highlighted many ways their views and ideas have led to the team making changes, including helping interview for new children’s service staff, updating the Children Looked After Charter and getting more involved in their own personal education plans (PEP).

Commenting on attending the Cooperate Parenting Panel, one of the young people talked about changes made by their involvement:

We have spoken about getting more apprenticeships, leisure passes and other things like that, which they helped to make happen”.

In addition, successfully campaigning to increase the Independent Living Grant – the amount of financial support offered to care leavers when young people move into independent living, and working with team to develop independent living skills, through the creation of a learning and development course, were also highlighted by the young people to show how their input has led to positive changes.

One of the young people observed:

They have even set up a course for young people to learn how to paint and decorate, after the idea was discussed at MADE”.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

Ensuring children and young people in our care, and our care leavers, are at the centre of services which affect their lives, able to have their say and make a difference, is extremely important and a key part of the Safeguarding & Quality Assurance Team’s work. It’s absolutely fantastic to have this formally recognised with the Investing in Children Membership Award.”

Staff participation champions are due to start assessing all teams within Children’s Social Care in the coming weeks to highlight positive practice and make recommendations to promote effective and meaningful participation and engagement with children and young people.

For more information about Investing in Children, visit:www.investinginchildren.net