The Children in Care Council (CiCC)
The Children in Care Council is made up of children and young people age 12-19 (Care Ambassadors) and 19-25 (Care Leaver Ambassadors). The council meets to tell decision makers what the issues are for children in care and care leavers. The young people meet with senior managers and elected members, who are responsible for making important decisions about the lives of children in care in Wiltshire.
We want to make sure that children and young people’s voices are heard and actions are taken about the decisions that affect their lives.
“It’s about making a change and hearing from the children and young people who are in Wiltshire’s care,” Children in Care Council member, February 2016.
The Children in Care Council:
- Tells people who make decisions about services for children in care what can be done to make things better.
- Speaks for all children and young people in care by gathering their views and deciding how best to share these views with senior managers and corporate parents.
- Receives feedback from senior managers and corporate parents on issues identified by children in care.
- Tells children in care what has happened as a result of them sharing their views and ideas.
- Involves children in care to check and monitor all services for children in care – for example, commenting on leaflets, documents, policies and strategies, and helping to design child and young person friendly versions of documents.
- Works on projects to help get young people's voices heard – for example, planning and running training for professionals.
- Keeps children in care updated on anything it has found our through meetings, or topics presented by guests and visitors.
Children and young people's voice and influence in Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council believes in co-designing and delivering services for children and young people, with children and young people. Such participation and involvement is coordinated by the Council’s Voice and Influence Team.Close
The team works to ensure the views of children and young people are heard and acted upon by decision-makers. It does this in partnership with schools, colleges, and voluntary sector organisations such as Healthwatch, as well as colleagues in commissioning, early help teams and across children’s services.
The team also manages the Children in Care Council (CiCC) and the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY). These groups meet monthly and welcome consultations and visitors. CiCC represents the views of Wiltshire’s looked after and care leaving populations. WAY members are either elected by peers, or are co-opted to represent particular groups, including those with special educational needs and/or disability, and those who are lesbian, gay and transgender. Both groups sit on committees, working groups and boards, including the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children’s Board, Corporate Parenting Panel and the Children’s Select Committee, amongst others. Children and young people are supported to sit on interview panels for children’s services staff, consider tender evaluations for children’s services and offer feedback on Council documents and policies.
Young people’s participation in co-production activities must have value to all parties; young people must be offered the opportunity to input directly into all processes and demonstrate their skills, ask questions and offer constructive feedback. Young people with additional needs will be supported to engage as and when appropriate.
When committees, boards, and external organisation are requesting the participation of young people at meetings, events and training, all relevant information must be available in advance, with a clear description of the reason for the request. The Voice and Influence Team coordinates such activity and prepares young people as necessary.Close
The Voice and Influence Team will be able to advise should you wish to seek the views of children and young people in Wiltshire. Guidance is available to ensure that enough time is given to establish intended outcomes, identify cohorts of young people, and prepare them for the work. Wiltshire Council and external partners requesting young people’s input should set aside sufficient resources to enable that participation. These may include funding for transportation (including an accompanying adult if necessary), cost of meals (in line with legislation regarding young people in the work place), and loss of earnings (where a young person misses work as a result of providing the service).Close
Children and young people are not paid for their involvement in activities related to co-production but they can expect to be treated fairly and not be out of pocket for their activities.
- Travel expenses will be refunded when travelling by public transport
- Appropriate refreshments will be provided according to time of day and length of meeting
- Achievements are celebrated appropriately
- An annual social event is organised as a thank you
- Certificates and letters of thanks are issued
By being involved in any co-production work, children and young people will see action and change take place, or be informed of the reasons why change does not or cannot take place. They will be able to explain how their views influenced decisions that were made, and be seen at all stages of decision making and commissioning in Wiltshire.
Every six months, a You Said, We did document is produced by the Voice and Influence Team, which explains when and how children and young people have been involved and what the outcome has been. This is circulated to those involved in the work, as well as key officers within the council.
Wiltshire Members of Youth Parliament
- West: Kirstie Stage
- East: Cecilia George
- North: Matthew Jamieson