The Government says that every council should make a set of promises to all its children and young people in care. This is called a pledge.
Telford and Wrekin’s pledge
In Telford and Wrekin, we asked children and young people what they thought were the kind of promises that should be made to children and young people in care and we have based the pledge on what we were told. Our pledge is based on 8 points:
- treat you with respect. Celebrate you as an individual and honour and support your unique identity
- take time to listen to you and place your needs, views and feelings at the heart of decisions made about you
- always be truthful, and we will not make promises that we cannot keep
- believe in you, trust you, value and celebrate your strengths, gifts, talents and achievements and encourage your ambitions.
- give you fair boundaries and help you to understand why they are there
- make sure that you have a good carer where you feel settled, and who is loving, caring, kind and safe and makes sure that you are included in all activities such as holidays
- help you learn from mistakes, provide you with second chances and give you sound guidance and role models
- do everything we can to make sure that you are happy and feel safe when you move on to independent living.
- make sure that you have the information and practical support that will allow you to make healthy choices
- make sure that at medicals you understand what is going to happen and what is expected of you
- support you to access specific health services when you need to
- provide you with emotional support and help you to manage changing relationships and come to terms with loss, trauma or other significant life events.
- help you gain the practical and emotional skills necessary and have the confidence to look after yourself. We will work with all the services that you need to help you establish and sustain yourself as an independent individual
- work alongside you to look at your options and prepare you to move on from care at your pace with good accommodation and a support package that is right for you
- make sure that you have your personal documents such as your birth certificate, national insurance number and passport before you are 16
- we recognise that at different times you may need to take a step back and start over again. We will be here for you regardless of your mistakes or how many times you come back for support.
- make sure that you have a place at a good school or nursery, and that if you get behind in education you can access extra tuition if you want to
- celebrate your birthday, special occasions and achievements with you
- make sure that you do not have to fight to pursue your goals and help push aside any barriers that might stop you from achieving them
- hold high ambitions for you and make sure you have every opportunity to succeed
- we will support you to make informed choices about your education, particularly with your options for GCSE’s and your future career path.
- make sure that you can access good quality and up to date information that is presented in a way that you want and covers every point in your journey through care. Including about services that you can expect to receive at different stages through your journey and your legal entitlements
- take time to help you to understand any decisions that affect you. Negotiate with you and show you how we have taken your opinions into account. If we disagree with you we will fully explain our reasons why
- make sure that you have opportunities to voice your opinions on the services that you receive and that your opinions are taken into account by managers when they are planning and reviewing services
- make sure that your meetings are about you; are held in a way that is right for you and that you are listened to. We will also make sure that you are consulted about when, where and who attends your meetings.
- make every effort to give you regular and good quality contact with people that are important to you.
- Value your relationships and make sure that you have opportunities to get to know, and when needed, to say goodbye to people that are important to you
- try and make sure that we do not change your social worker or reviewing officer unless needed, and that they spend quality time with you
- provide easy access to complaints and appeals processes, and promote and encourage access to independent advocacy whenever you need it.
- make sure you know where to get current information once you are no longer in touch with leaving care services, and where possible provide you with advice and support if you need it
- make clear to you what information about yourself and your time in care you are entitled to see, and support you to access your information when you want it, to manage any feelings that you might have about the information and to put on record any disagreement about factual content
- do our best to support you until you are settled in your independent life, even if you are no longer legally entitled to this service
- we will not forget you, and will continue to care about you and remain your supporters in whatever way we can, even when our formal relationship with you has ended.
Your independent reviewing officer should ask you at review meetings whether you feel the council is keeping these promises to you. If not, you can contact the Rights and Representations Service on 07976 100588 and we will try and find out why this has happened and, most importantly, try to make sure things change for you.
Last updated: 10.36am on Tuesday 11 June 2019