Our Children and Young People's Council

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Kent County Council's Participation Strategy 

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.



Children in Care Councils

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.


Super Council – for 7-11 year olds

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.


OCYPC – for 11-16 year olds

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.


YAC – for 16-21 year olds

Young Adults Council is a group of young people who meet every 6-8 weeks in a central location in Kent. This group was started at the beginning of 2015 and since then we have seen membership grow. At these meetings we talk about things that matter to older children in care and young care leavers such as accommodation, life skills and further education.


 New OCYPC Logo             YAC


Are you are interested in joining one of the council groups? Or do you just want to have your say? Please email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for further details 


The Participation and Engagement Team

The Participation Team's role is to encourage all children in care and care leavers to speak up, voice their opinions and to help shape the services that they receive. They work hard to support children and young people to attend events, council meetings and sit on interview panels. This ensures that everything that Kent County Council does for children in care includes their views. 

We also have Apprentice Participation Workers within the Participation Team. They are undertaking an apprenticeship with Virtual School Kent, and are here to help bridge the gap between you and the Kent County Council Members and Senior Directors. They are all young people who have been in care at some point or have had similar experiences. Their role involves supporting young people, encouraging them to speak up about their views and experiences, and discussing what they would like to change about the care system. They organise the activity days that are run in the school holidays. The activity days are an opportunity to meet new friends, build confidence and have fun.



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! 



ChloeMuttonChloe-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  

rsz chelsea mugshotHey! 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! 








We will soon be recruiting some new Apprentice Participation Workers to join the team - watch this space!

You can speak to someone in our Participation Team by telephoning on 03000 419163 or 03000 412128. You can also e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you have any queries or suggestions to make about how we can develop Participation & Engagement further; we would love to hear from you!

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