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Our looked-after Young People demand support from local politician

Concerned care-experienced young people in the West Midlands have met with a local public figure, Tom Baker-Price, and he has pledged to help make their voices heard.

Over half term we arranged for two of our looked-after young people, TG and TB to meet their local Worcestershire county councillor, Tom Baker-Price in Worcester. Tom takes pride in improving services for their Local Authority and kindly agreed to meet them as part of our celebrations for Care Day 2018. They were accompanied by our National Participation and Engagement Officer, Olivia.

Upon meeting councillor Tom, TG and TB bombarded him with questions. Tom was quite taken aback by the strength of their political views. He said he was impressed with their level of awareness  – which he thought was better than that of many adults.

Tom discussed his role and responsibilities with the pair, who did not hold back in challenging him on three big questions that affect them personally as young, looked-after people:

Why do children have to wait up to two years to access support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)?

How can the Local Authority support care leavers to prevent financial deprivation and develop independent living skills?
Why do the Social Workers allocated to support looked after children keep changing so often? Does he understand the impact of this on the children, who need to build strong relationships as part of their recovery from traumatic experiences?

In response, Tom said Worcestershire Council are addressing the shortage of Social Workers by looking to train and invest in Support Workers to become qualified Social Workers. Tom also stated that Worcestershire Council are working on a project to support care leavers to move into temporary accommodation for three months to gain experience of living independently. The project aims to develop care leavers’ independent living skills but also give them the opportunity to take up long-term tenancy. As for the issues with CAMHS,  Tom promised to mention this in the next council meeting and Scrutiny Panel.

Finally, they requested Tom make a promise and sign our Care Day placard. Tom declared his pledge to be,  “to make sure Care Leavers’ and Young People in Care’s voices are heard”


Celebrations for Care Day 2018 are part of our Participation programme which has been praised by OFSTED, and has won Investing in Children accreditation for our fostering services. Find out more about our children’s and young people’s participation in society and their own care.


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