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Voice of Children and Young People Workshop

 This resource outlines the feedback from the Voice of Children and Young People workshop at the Celebrating the Relationship of an IV Conference 2019.

What does the National Standards for the Provision of Independent Visitor Services’ (2016) say about the voice of children?

The National Standards report states that IV services should give children the opportunity to participate and be actively involved in the development of services. Children’s views, opinions and skills should be used and recognised. They should influence how the service is delivered.

The National Standards report provides a toolkit to support IV Services to achieve its recommendations. The toolkit states that:

  • Services should involve children in; designing leaflets, promoting the service at Children in Care Councils, training and interviewing independent visitors, developing panel questions and feedback forms, and organising activities.
  • Children are given the opportunity to participate in the planning, monitoring and review of the service.

What did workshop participants say they were doing to capture the voices of children and young people within their IV services?

The following examples are some of the ways in which IV Services engage children within service development and delivery;

  • Gathering feedback during 6-monthly or annual reviews with children, carers and social workers.
  • Sending out quarterly feedback forms in the post to children and their carers.
  • Involved children in interviewing or activities in the recruitment process.
  • Working with In-Care Councils to develop IV interview questions.
  • Asking children “What’s the best thing about having an IV?” and using the quotes for influencing work.
  • Getting children to deliver a training sessions for new IV’s.
  • Getting children to complete and/or contribute to funding bids.
  • Going on group trips (annual/quarterly/bi-annual).
  • Talking to children and getting their feedback and views.
  • Using Survey Monkey.

How did workshop attendees think children’s voices could be incorporated into future NIVN developments?

Workshop attendees were also asked to consider the following future areas of work:

  1. Influencing work at local and national Level.
  2. Outcomes and evidence-based service development.
  3. Regional groups and production of learning resources.
  4. Steering group activity

Attendees agreed that capturing the child’s voice is vital for the future development of the NIVN. The child’s  direct experience of using an IV Service allows them to provide an insight into what works and what can be done to improve service delivery. Network members shared the following ideas on how IV Services can incorporate the child’s voice into NIVN developments:

  • Regional groups can connect with their local Children in Care council.
  • Children can design and update the NIVN website.
  • Services and Regional Groups can reach out to care leavers who have had an IV, to find out what they think good outcomes are.
  • Involve children in promoting the service and the value of the role.
  • Involve children in tenders and requests for funding.
  • Get children to create, or be involved in creating resources and learning materials for IV services.
  • Ensure that children’s voices and influence is incorporated into both local and national policy and practice.
  • Include children in multi-agency working – this does not always have to be IV related but can share knowledge amongst different areas of social care.

Reference:

  1. National Standards for the Provision of Independent Visitor Services 2016
  2. National Independent Visitors Network: Celebrating the Relationship of an IV Conference (Oct 2019)
  3. The National Independent Visitor Data Report 2019

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