For free online education resources, suitable for Reception to Year 10 pupils, please visit https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom.
For free online education resources, suitable for Reception to Year 10 pupils, please visit https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom.
For free online education resources, suitable for Reception to Year 10 pupils, please visit https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom.

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Kent Cares Town

Thanks for visiting Kent Cares Town. This website is for all young people who are or who have been in the care of Kent County Council. Choose the section that best suits you to find out more.

*Coronavirus Update*

During the Coronavirus outbreak, the VSK Participation Team is here to help Children in Care, Care Leavers and Young People who were Previously Looked After stay positive! Click on the links below to find some Top Tips, Boredom Busters and E-Life Hacks, as well as short films made by the Team to help you through this difficult time. You can email us at VSK_Participation@kent.gov.uk or use the website to stay in touch—we love hearing from you!

Primary

This is the section to find out everything you need to know about being in care if you are aged under 11. Click on the superheroes below!

Have a look at VSK’s Home Learning Resource Booklet for Primary School Children to find additional resources and advice for supporting primary aged children during the Coronavirus outbreak. Click here

Secondary

Aged 11 to 16? Click below to learn about being in care, how Kent County Council supports your education and health and lots more.

Click on the link to access VSK’s Home Learning Resource Booklet for Secondary aged Young People full of useful information and resources to explore during this unsettled time. Click here

Moving On

Click here to find out about what happens when you turn 18. The information here will help you plan for when you leave care and start to live independently.

If you are over 16, take a look at VSK’s Post 16 Home Learning Resource Booklet packed full of valuable resources and tips to try. Click here We also have a Home Learning Booklet for asylum seeking Young People. Click here

Get Involved!

There is a gallery of wonderful art created by children in care and you can even send in your poems, stories and experiences to our Writers’ Corner!

Latest News

Keep up to date with all the latest news!

Engineering Apprenticeship with Southeastern

Southeastern are looking to recruit new apprentices to become fully qualified service engineers, over a 4 year course.

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Southeastern are offering a Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship. This 4 year scheme is designed to provide the successful applicant(s) with the appropriate training and qualifications to have a successful career as a service engineer for Southeastern.

Candidates will need to fill out an online application form, it is advised that you register and sign up for job alerts to receive notification of new jobs that are advertised. Successfully screened applicants will then go into the selection process, consisting of 3 stages: Assessment, Interview and Medical. 

The closing date for applicants is May 3rd, so if you’re looking to begin a career in engineering, head over to the site to apply now by clicking here.

An information pack, outlining the roles and responsibilities of a Southeastern apprentice can be found here.

 

Kent Fire & Rescue Service recruitment

The Kent Fire & Rescue Service will shortly be recruiting for Wholetime Firefighters 

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The Kent Fire & Rescue Service will be recruiting for Wholetime Firefighters.

In order to be considered for the recruitment process you must first register your interest. The registration will open on Monday 4th May at 10am and will be available on the Kent Fire & Rescue Service website

If you do not register you will not be eligible to apply. The registration will close on Sunday 17th May or when no further spaces are available. Spaces will be given on a first come first serve basis, so be quick to ensure you do not miss out. 

To register, click the link on the website which will bring up an event by Eventbrite, register for a ticket and fill in your personal details. Please note - the online event to register will not require you to physically attend. 

Further details and updates will be shared regularly over the course of the next few weeks so keep an eye on your emails and the Kent Fire & Rescue Service website. 

E-Life Hacks, Boredom Busters and More!

Keep your eyes open for further updates from The Participation Team!

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To make sure we are staying in contact with all of you, we are putting together a series of E-Life Hacks, Boredom Busters and Top Tips to help you stay positive and busy during this difficult time! We will be uploading these tips and tricks twice a week so make sure you keep coming back to stay updated. 

From all of us at VSK, stay safe and stay home!

Click here for an update from The Participation Team!

Barclays Life Skills

Barclays LifeSkills is a fantastic way to boost your CV and find virtual work experience.

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Barclays LifeSkills is a fantastic way to help boost your CV, prepare for work and find work experience. It is a platform that can be used by Young People, Educators and businesses. It allows you to develop skills necessary to find employment and help you make decisions on your future career.

Due to the current health crisis this tool could be more useful than ever, for Young People to register it is free and gives you access to interactive tools and resources that can get you ready for the workplace. This will allow you to continue to develop skills with the support of businesses, educators and parents/carers.

Virtual Work Experience gives you the opportunity to work within a company that you may not have access to normally, allowing you to highlight key skills you may need to secure employment in the future. 

Further information for Young People can be found here.

Further information for Parents/Carers can be found here.

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Corporate Parents

When you are in care, your corporate parents are the people who have responsibility for keeping you safe and looking after your wellbeing. They make sure your time in care is as positive as it can be, listen to your opinions and have your best interests at heart. They will help you if you have a problem and care about how you are feeling.

This isn’t just one person but a large group of different people. Your corporate parents include staff in Kent County Council like your social worker, personal adviser or independent reviewing officer, doctors, nurses and other health care workers, the police, staff in schools and colleges and others who work with and look after you. It also includes senior staff at Kent County Council. Some of these people are shown below.

Click on the images to find out more

Matt Dunkley CBE

Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education

“I want you to help me make Kent the best place for children and young people to grow up, learn, develop and achieve.”

Roger Gough

Kent CC Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

“I think it is really important that children in care have people to speak for them, to support them and to promote their interests.”

Ann Allen MBE

Deputy Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education and Chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel

“We need to ask ourselves ‘what is a good parent?’ and do the same as corporate parents as we would for our own children.”

Sarah Hammond

Director Integrated Services (Children's Social Work Lead)

Stuart Collins

Director Integrated Services (Early Help and Preventative Services Lead)

Caroline Smith

Interim Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting

“As a Corporate Parent, I want the absolute best for our children and young people, ensuring they get the right support to achieve their full potential.”

Tony Doran

VSK Headteacher

“The best thing about my job is seeing the great outcomes achieved by the amazing young people that I serve.”

Nicola Anthony

Interim Head of Fostering and Registered Manager

“Our aim is to recruit and supervise the very best foster carers to promote a safe and secure environment for children and young people in Kent.”

Nimesh Patel

Head of the Care Leavers 18 Plus Service

“The best thing about my job is working with the staff and the young people, being around people and trying to help them as best as I can.”

Mark Vening

Head of Fostering – West

Sue Chandler

Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services

Richard Long

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

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Matt Dunkley CBE

Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education

I am the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education Services. I am really pleased that we have now brought together all services for children and young people in one department. As Director, it means that I have a legal responsibility to ensure safeguarding is everyone’s priority and to make sure that Kent County Council is the best parent we can be for all of the children in our care and for our care leavers.

I will want to meet as many of you as possible and to hear whether we are doing the best we can for you. You will always be my highest priority in this job. I have over 33 years experience in Education and Children’s Services and this includes working in East Sussex, the United States of America, Australia and most recently Norfolk. I am a father to three children and grandfather to one. When I was growing up, my parents were foster carers to other children so I have some knowledge of what life was like for children in care from that time.

I really do look forward to getting out and about to meet with as many young people as possible – I want you to help me make Kent the best place of children and young people to grow up, learn, develop and achieve.

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Tony Doran

VSK Headteacher

What is your job role and what does this mean?

I head the Virtual School Kent which is responsible for promoting and improving educational standards for Children in Care and Young Care Leavers of Kent. I am responsible for the coordination of services provided by VSK such as:

Supporting key colleagues (Social workers, Foster carers, Designated Teachers, School Leaders, School Governors, IROs and your Corporate Parents) in understanding their roles and responsibilities in promoting your education and ensuring that they have the highest aspirations for you.

Providing information advice and guidance for you and for the key professionals who may work with you.

Ensuring effective systems are in place to offer extra support.

Ensuring you are at the centre of what we do and that we listen. We do this through our Participation & Engagement Team who run the activity days, children in care councils (Super Council, OCYPC and YAC) and Kent Cares Town website to name but a few specific activities.

How did you end up working in this job role?

I had been working in Educational Leadership for many years specialising in improving school culture and inclusion. This led to some consultancy opportunities which led to me being selected as an educational behaviour expert in the National Behavioural Review within the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit (PMDU) and subsequently the National Strategies. This experience of Central and Local Government work coupled with my passion for inclusion and working with disadvantaged groups of young people inspired me to search for and eventually secure the post of Virtual School Headteacher.

What is the best thing about your job?

That’s easy, it’s seeing the great outcomes achieved by the amazing young people that I serve. I especially look forward to days like the VSK Talent Showcase and the VSK Achievement Ceremonies in September and October.

Tell us one fact about you that young people might like to know?!

I was a Welsh International Athlete. Well athlete is pushing it…. I used to throw the Discus and Hammer for Wales.

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Nicola Anthony

Interim Head of Fostering and Registered Manager

What is your job role and what does this mean?

I am the Interim Head of Kent Fostering and Registered Manager. I directly line manage the centralised part of Kent Fostering which includes recruitment and assessment of foster carers. I am responsible for making the decision whether to approve new foster carers, including Connected Persons who have been assessed and presented to the Fostering Panel. I oversee the running of all Fostering Panels along with having overall management responsibility for the Specialist Fostering Team who cover Disability Fostering and the Sense of Belonging, along with the Fostering Review Team, Training and Development for foster carers and Initial Enquiries.

I work closely with the seven area Fostering Support Teams to promote joint working and support to foster carers, children and young people. The Fostering Support Teams supervise foster carers, match all referrals for children placements with appropriately skilled carers, promote training for carers and facilitate support groups.

How did you end up working in this job role?

I have worked with Kent Fostering Service for 19 years, initially as a Fostering Social Worker and then as Team Manager for Assessment and Support Teams. In the last couple of years I have been working alongside the Head of Fostering Caroline Smith, in the role of Practice Development Officer with a lead on Fostering. Caroline is currently covering the Assistant Director post for Corporate Parenting and I am covering for Caroline.

What is the best thing about your job?

I am passionate about this role as it oversees the fostering service to ensure that Kent Fostering recruit and supervise the very best foster carers to promote a safe and secure environment for children and young people in Kent.

Tell us one fact about you that young people might like to know?!

I love playing netball and have played for many teams since I was a teenager including Canterbury under 21s. I am a Goal Shooter and have played in the freezing rain and on the hottest of days.

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Caroline Smith

Interim Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting

What is your job role and what does this mean?

Hello, I am Caroline Smith, the Interim Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting. I am responsible for the services that support our Children in Care and Care Leavers including Kent Fostering Service, Adoption, VSK and 18plus Care Leavers. As a Corporate Parent I want the absolute best for our children and young people, ensuring they get the right support to achieve their full potential. I am very proud of the children and young people we work with and always value any feedback on our services about what we can do to support you.

How did you end up working in this job role?

I have worked for Kent County Council for 26 years, completing my training as a Social Worker and working with children and adults with disabilities, before working in the Fostering Service for 13 years. I am currently covering the Assistant Director role as wanted to be able to make a difference in the lives of as many children and young people as possible.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is seeing the achievements of children and young people within my services. I love the variety my job gives and the ability to create change with new ideas that will improve the lives of those I am a corporate parent too.

Tell us one fact about you that young people might like to know?!

If I won the lottery, I would buy a café on the beach, spending the day baking cakes and looking out at the sea.

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Nimesh Patel

Head of the Care Leavers 18 Plus Service

What is your job role and what does this mean?

I am Head of the Care Leavers 18 Plus Service. It means that I oversee 10 teams of workers who support around 1500 Care Leavers between the ages of 18 and 25.

How did you end up working in this job role?

I made a positive decision to apply for the post as I really wanted to do the job.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is working with the staff and the young people, being around people and trying to help them as best as I can.

Tell us one fact about you that young people might like to know?!

I run marathons and have a best time of 3 hours and 25 minutes which I am very proud of.

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