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Are you interesting in a career in government? Want to develop some new skills, gain experience of working in central government and ultimately strengthen your career prospects in the longer term? Then, why not consider whether a paid 12 month internship in the Civil Service might be for you?Read More
The internships will be in one of the Government Departments and agencies, working in roles that will be based in various locations across England, Scotland and Wales. The 2018 interns are currently working across 17 Government Departments and their agencies that have offices around the country – information about locations for 2019 will be shared shortly.
Have a look at the Civil Service careers website for more information about the different Government Departments that exist.
To apply for the internships no qualifications are required, but applicants must be a care leaver aged between 18-30 years. Successful applicants will however be asked to confirm their care leaver status (e.g. through a letter from your Personal Adviser, other officer from Kent County Council, or a named contact in your supporting organisation).
The internships will be offered at two levels: Administrative Officer (typical salary £18,000 per annum); or Executive Officer (typical salary £21,000 per annum). London salaries may be higher. Those that apply unsuccessfully for the Executive Officer role may be considered for the Administrative Officer role.
Administrative Officers work in a supporting administrative role with no line management responsibilities, and typically within a team structure.
Executive Officers are involved in problem solving, business planning and policymaking within Government. They usually work within a supportive team structure, under the direction of relevant team leaders. They can also hold individual responsibility for pieces of work within a programme or project.
The Civil Service uses an online application system, which will open for applications on Thursday 29 August and close at 23:59 hours on Thursday 26 September. They will be sharing guidance on the process nearer the time so keep checking back here.
If you are interested in this opportunity, speak to your Personal Adviser!
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge ‘Space Chase’ is a fun out-of-this-world adventure!Read More
It takes place in all Kent Libraries from 13th July until 14th September. Children aged 4 – 11 can join and help super space family ‘The Rockets’ on a special mission, with tons of fun along the way – and it’s all completely free!
You can sign up for the Challenge at any Kent library and receive a special mission folder to keep a record of your reading. Your Challenge is to read 6 library books, collecting stickers & rewards for every 2 books read. When you’ve read all 6 books and completed the challenge, you’ll get a special medal and certificate to keep!
Ocean Youth Trust South is a charity which gives young people aged between 12 and 25 the opportunity to go to sea. This year, Virtual School Kent was lucky enough to be able to offer 11 Children in Care an amazing adventure on the ocean!Read More
For 4 days between 29th May and 2nd June, young people got the chance to sail, keep watch, help to navigate and cook aboard the 30-metre vessel Prolific. The group joined the boat in Southampton on Wednesday and sailed to Cowes on the first night. The next day, they sailed to Studland Bay and anchored with time to enjoy fishing over the side. Friday was another sail to Weymouth for the beach and ice cream, and Saturday was a long passage back to the Solent where they moored up for the night outside Yarmouth. They even spotted dolphins along the way! The voyage finished in Southampton on Sunday after 151 nautical miles.
The Voyage was a success and eight of the eleven participants also earned Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting certificates - this award is a recognised qualification which young people can keep in their Record of Achievement. It shows that they mastered some basic sailing skills but also demonstrates they were able to listen and concentrate, persevere when things got tough, cope with living in an entirely unfamiliar situation, take responsibility when asked, and much much more.
They should all be proud of themselves for doing so well.
Kent County Council’s Takeover Day on Wednesday, May 29 saw children in care, care leavers, adopted young people and the sons and daughters of foster carers take charge of the Corporate Parenting Panel and have their voices heard.Read More
Around 25 young people aged between 10 and 25 took part, shadowing KCC directors, officers and senior councillors to learn how the council is run and how decisions are made at County Hall in Maidstone.
Tabatha, 11, said: “It was a really great day with young people having the chance to lead the meeting with their own agenda.
“We had the chance to discuss important and current issues with our corporate parents such as social media, our dreams for the future and other topics that are important to us.”
Brad, 17, shadowed Ann Allen, chairman of the Corporate Parenting Panel. He said: “It was a phenomenal experience to be able to take over the Corporate Parenting Meeting and to co-chair the meeting with Ann.
“I would love to see this happen again and would highly recommend it as it was an amazing event to be part of.”
The Corporate Parenting Panel is a group of Kent County Council senior staff, elected members and workers from organisations across Kent who are responsible for supporting children in care to grow, thrive and lead happy, fulfilled lives. The panel’s role is to act as an advocate for children in care and care leavers, make services better and to give young people a voice in decision making. The young people well and truly took over, choosing topics to talk about and livening up the Council Chambers with balloons, debate and even a vote about the pros and cons of social media.
Matt Dunkley, Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education said: “It was a memorable, moving, empowering and enlightening occasion. I was left feeling so proud of our young people for their confidence, resilience and good humour, and deeply proud to be a corporate parent.“
If you would like to get involved in activities like this or join one of our Children in Care Councils, then why not email us at VSK_Participation@kent.gov.uk.
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 think it is really important that children in care have people to speak for them, to support them and to promote their interests.”
“We need to ask ourselves ‘what is a good parent?’ and do the same as corporate parents as we would for our own children.”
“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.”
“The best thing about my job is seeing the great outcomes achieved by the amazing young people that I serve.”
“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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I made a positive decision to apply for the post as I really wanted to do the 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.
I run marathons and have a best time of 3 hours and 25 minutes which I am very proud of.