Dorset Kidz: Stand Up, Speak Up - Dorset's Children in Care Council
Information about the Dorset's Children in Care Council also known as Dorset Kidz: Stand Up, Speak Up.
Children in Care Councils came into being as a result of the recommendations of the 2007 White Paper Care Matters. Care Matters outlined an expectation that, as part of its commitment to improving the work of the Corporate Parent, every local authority would "put in place arrangements for a 'Children in Care Council' " which would " give children in care a forum to express their views and influence the services and support they receive".
Dorset's Children in Care Council is known as Dorset Kidz: stand up, speak up. It is facilitated by the Dorset Children's Rights Service, part of Action for Children, and has been running since February 2010. Dorset Kidz operates as:
- a consultation group for managers, policy makers and councillors
- a lobbying group for the promotion of the rights of children and young people in care and for care leavers across Dorset
- a think-tank, developing young person-led ideas and initiatives
- a champion for children and young people in care and for care leavers, including monitoring DCC's 'Our Pledge' (pdf, 17kb) (opens in a new window)
- a key communication channel, helping information to travel between senior management and children and young people in care
All children and young people in care and all care leavers are encouraged to participate in Dorset Kidz, in person or by post, text or e-mail. Children and young people aged 9 or over will have the opportunity of attending at least four meetings a year. Children under the age of 9 will have the opportunity of attending at least one meeting a year. Views are also sought via questionnaires so that all children in care can participate.
Dorset Kidz' agenda is informed by national and local requirements but is tailored to meet the specific needs and requests of participants. The views and recommendations of Dorset Kidz are fed back to DCC's Corporate Parenting Panel, which includes the Director of Children's Services and the Lead Member for Children's Services, both of whom are invited to attend Dorset Kidz meetings on a regular basis.