There’s a drive right now to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard. At Chrysalis Care, we have always endeavoured to do this. We may not have used buzz words like ‘participation’ and ‘consultation’ or ‘service user engagement’…but we’ve always done it, all the same. Why?
Well, after fifteen years as foster carers, the founding Directors of Chrysalis Care began their journey to create an organisation that bridged gaps that they knew existed. Not only gaps in service to foster carers, such as offering a 24 hour support service…but also gaps in the experience for children and young people.
Chrysalis Care run a range of groups for children and young people – both those who are looked after and also those who are part of the fostering family. This includes a youth participation forum, where young people can tell us how they would like to be cared for, any service developments they’d like to see and can contribute to the design of the quarterly newsletter. Why do we do this? Because of government agenda? To look good for Ofsted Inspectors? No…..
Possibly one of the most important aspects of caring for children and young people, beyond their basic need for safety, health, education, leisure, nurturing and so on, is to create opportunities for their voices to be heard. Children and young people, especially those who are looked after, need to know that they are valuable, that what they have to say is worth hearing. So at Chrysalis Care, we make sure children and young people have vehicles to be heard…because they are valuable and what they say is worth hearing.