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!
Keep up to date with all the latest news!
Our Children and Young people have made a short film with the support of VSK’s Participation and Engagement Team to show what they think about Nurture and our 6 principles. The young people feel these are important principles that all practitioners should work towards.
Kent libraries are excited to introduce Wild World Heroes, Summer Reading Challenge 2021; a celebration of nature and action for the environment, in partnership with WWF UK.
Running from 10 July – 11 September 2021, for the first time, children can choose to sign up and participate in the Summer Reading Challenge either by visiting a Kent Library to claim their joining pack, or by visiting wildworldheroes.org.uk to take part online. Visit kent.gov.uk/libs to find an up-to-date list of our open libraries and information about when others will be opening.
Meet the Wild World Heroes - Carys, Marcus, Callum, Willow, Faiza, David and their trusted animal companions from Wilderville, who are all on a mission to take action and save their natural world.
Children can help the Wild World Heroes by signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge and reading six library books over the summer period. It can be any type of reading material including stories, information books, audiobooks, eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and more. When they have read their six books and completed the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive a medal and certificate (while stocks last). And it’s all for free!
Zoolab Rangers bring their animals to our free online Zoolab events, part of Kent Libraries Summer Reading Challenge, Wild World Heroes.
Naturetown – suitable for 5-8 year olds
Wed 4 Aug 1pm-1.45pm
Thurs 12 Aug 10am-10.45am
Hear about the adventure of fellow eco-warriors helping local wildlife, reinforcing what we can all do to protect and care for our animal neighbours.
Eco Investigators – suitable for 8-11 year olds
Wed 18 Aug 10am-10.45am
Thurs 26 Aug 1pm-1.45pm
Become an Eco Investigator and learn how we can help save our animal friends - all from the comfort of your own home!
The Disabled Children and Young People’s Service is running a competition for young people to design a logo for the service, which will now be called Strengthening Independence.
This year’s Virtual School Kent Awards Nominations are now open for Kent’s Children and Young people in Care, and Care Leavers.
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
“I want you to help me make Kent the best place for children and young people to grow up, learn, develop and achieve.”
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.
“I think it is really important that children in care have people to speak for them, to support them and to promote their interests.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
If I won the lottery, I would buy a café on the beach, spending the day baking cakes and looking out at the sea.
“The best thing about my job is seeing the great outcomes achieved by the amazing young people that I serve.”
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.
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.
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.
I was a Welsh International Athlete. Well athlete is pushing it…. I used to throw the Discus and Hammer for Wales.
“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.”
I am the 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.
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.
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.
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.