Young People in Care Changing Lives – Sunderland’s Change Council are children and young people who are supported, empowered and encouraged to run their own meetings, create actions, develop campaigns, and have their say about things that matter to them.
Change Council young people are provided with the opportunities to influence decisions about how services are run within Together for Children and those of our Partners.
Change council are split into two groups:
- Young people aged 16+yrs who are currently looked after or leaving care who represent the voices of children and young people who are in care and leaving care.
- Young people aged 10-15yrs who are currently looked after representing the voices of children and young people who are in care.
The aims of Sunderland Change Council are to:
- Improve services for children and young people who are looked after or leaving care in Sunderland
- Raise awareness of the issues faced by children looked after and care leavers in Sunderland
- Ensure that children and young people in care or leaving care are listened to and heard
- Build self-esteem and confidence
- Have Fun
What we do in Change Council?
- We meet every other week at a TfC Venue
- Work through an agenda of items that have been agreed by the group
- Talk about things that are important
- Go on residentials
- Get together to make friends and have fun
- Work together with the regional children in care council in the North East of England
- Get involved in recruitment and selection
- Plan events
- Have days trips out and activities
- Make recommendations to change things and improve services for children look after and leaving care young people.
What we have achieved in the last 12 months?
- Free leisure activities for all children looked after and leaving care provided by everyone active.
- Employed a regional care leaver ambassador to support regional work
- Commissioned Kooth, an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people
- Changed the name of ‘Contact’ to ‘Family Time’
- Planned and ran a Christmas Celebration Event for all Children and Young people in care or leaving
- Interviewed for Senior Leaders within Together for Children
- Delivered training to professionals
- Planned and ran workshops at the regional conference
- Worked with the IRO service to make sure children and young people know who they are.
IMO | A voice for teenagers in care and care leavers
IMO is a voice for teenagers in care and for care leavers. It is somewhere they can share stories, experiences and achievements, get and give advice. IMO also share opportunities for care leavers, like jobs and apprenticeships, and give away lots of free things.
How to Get Involved
Change Council meet on Wednesdays 5pm to 7pm
If you are a child looked after or leaving care and would like to join Change Council, have some questions or simply want some more information, please contact:
Nikki Donaldson, Participation and Engagement Officer