Our Children and Young People's Council
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A Participation Strategy is something that Kent County Council put together to help enable all Kent Children in Care and Care Leavers have a say about how the service they receive is shaped and how it can be made better.
There are lots of different ways that you can become involved, like joining up and becoming a member of the Children in Care Council (see below for more details). Read our full Participation Strategy for more ideas about how you can become involved and help make a difference to the lives of other Children in Care.
The Virtual School Kent Apprentices help to organise and support council meetings for children and young people in care. These meetings are set to help you have your say on what it is like being in care and what you would like to change. Council Members and Directors from Social Services and Specialist Children’s Services come to listen to what you have to say, and your opinions help make positive changes.
The council decided that they would prefer to hold informal meetings which take place in the school holidays. We have three council groups for ages 7 – 21.
The Super Council is a group for younger children to have their voices heard in a more informal way. We play lots of fun games as well as doing arts and crafts. These meetings happen before our OCYPC group for 11-16 year olds and are normally an hour and a half long.
Young people came up with the name 'Our Children and Young People's Council' a few years ago. The council meet up most school holidays. We have two groups, one for North and West Kent that meets in Maidstone and another for East and South Kent that meets in Canterbury.
Have a look at the OCYPC Constitution which has been put together by OCYPC members. It explains the rules and aims of the council.
Sophia Dunstan - Participation Support Assisstant
Hi, I’m Sophia. I love working with young people and understand the care system as I am a Care Leaver. I am no longer an Apprentice but will still be working with you all. I hope to see new and old faces soon!
Chloe-Elizabeth Mutton - Apprentice Participation Worker
Hey, I’m Chloe. I’m 21, and am a new apprentice with VSK! I myself am a care leaver, so I am looking forward to work with young people and hear your views. Can’t wait to meet you all! In my spare time I love to try new things.
Reece Graves - Apprentice Participation Worker
Hi there, my name is Reece. I am 18 years, a care leaver and I have been using vsk as a young person for almost 2 years. I have already met a lot of you guys and can't wait to hear your views.
Chelsea Goodwin - Apprentice Participation Worker
Hey! My name is Chelsea and I have joined the VSK Participation Team working as an Apprentice Participation Worker. I see myself as an understanding, bubbly and down to earth person, I love learning new skills and having new experiences, but while having fun. I want to be able to do more for children in care and for them to gain new experiences and friends, also so they can gain social benefits. I want to be able to make their experience of care positive and for them to feel their being heard. I have enjoyed meeting some of you on activity days and can’t wait to meet more of you!
Hannah-Louise Uchiki-Parker - Apprentice Participation Worker
Hello! My name is Hannah Uchiki-Parker, I am 17 years old and have just started working with the Virtual School team. I recently went into care so have experience with the system and am eager to spend time with and help you all with any worries you may have. I aim to be someone that you all feel comfortable speaking to.
We will soon be recruiting some new Apprentice Participation Workers to join the team - watch this space!