Young people “take over” top jobs in council
Fifteen young people in care ‘took over’ the running of several key services across Telford & Wrekin Council as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s annual Takeover Day.
The young people aged between 11 and 19 years old really got down to council business - attending focus meetings, giving advice to various committees and providing input to important decisions.
They also took the opportunity to inform council officials about the feelings of young people in care and how they feel represented in the borough.
The virtual school and members of the community engagement and partnership and planning teams organised the day alongside senior managers from across the council.
The aim was to help young people understand how the council works, but more importantly the day provided an opportunity for the council to gather the views and opinions of young people in care and really help make the young people’s voices heard.
After a morning touring various council facilities and meeting council staff, the young people had a business lunch followed by a special corporate planning meeting where issues around the academic performance of children in care in our schools was the main focus.
Although children in Telford & Wrekin Council’s care perform slightly better than looked after children nationally, there is still a considerable gap between their performances when compared to their peers.
The corporate parenting group considered all the factors that affect the performance of children in care and the young people provided valuable insight into a way forward to help young people in care perform better in school.
The afternoon ended with the young people and their carers joining together with their council chaperones for a celebration tea and the awarding of certificates for their participation in a highly successful and productive ‘take over’.
Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity both for the young people that took part and for the council and we all took the chance to develop closer links.
“It was really refreshing and rewarding to hear their views and ideas and I hope that they also took a lot from the day including a greater understanding of the council and how it works.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the day including both the young people in care and all the officers of the council who either helped put it together or participated.
“It is by placing the young people in our care at the heart of the discussions that will ultimately affect them and how they perform that together we will strive to achieve better results and better outcomes for them.”