‘Our Care, Our Say’: Care experienced people’s views on the care review

Alison O'Sullivan
Friday, October 30, 2020

An important new initiative has been launched by care experienced people.

A small group of care experience volunteers and friends are organising a survey and a webinar discussion on 7 November, so that people can say what they think should happen to involve care experience people in the Care Review in England and what the most important issues are that it should consider.

In December 2019, the government committed to a Care Review for England. In March, the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, restated the manifesto commitment to carry out a review which “presents a singular opportunity to start by looking at the whole system, and the children and young people it supports”.

Importantly, he also said: “To hear the voices of children, young people and adults that have received the help or support of a social worker or have been brought into care, is of utmost importance. This will be at the heart of the review”.

Scotland’s Independent Care Review, which took three years and found that the system was in need of radical overhaul, also went to great lengths to engage with children in care and with care experience so expectations are high.

The Care Review will be an important opportunity to look at how things have been working and make recommendations to government about what should be done differently in future. Reviews like this do not happen very often. So, it is really important that it is as effective as possible!

Whilst we seem no nearer to knowing when the review will start, what it will cover or who the independent chair will be, moves are afoot to ensure that the voice of care experienced people is heard early on when the review starts.

‘Our Care Our Say’ is a collaboration between the Care Experience Conference team, The Care Leavers Association, the National IRO Manager Partnership (NIROMP) and care experienced friends from across the wider community.

We believe that care experienced people of all ages have the right to have a say in the Care Review. Our firm belief is that people’s different experiences of care, through their life course, is of incredible value in developing the focus, aims, delivery and outcomes of the Care Review in England: their advice is needed to make sure that we have the most meaningful review possible and we really understand what needs to be done to make things better for the future.

If you are a care experience person of any age you can give your views on what the forthcoming Care Review in England should cover and how it should be run

Complete the ‘Our Care Our Say’ survey or book a place for the 7 November webinar discussion via the website here: ourcareoursay.wordpress.com/

The findings from the survey and the discussion will ensure that the views of care experienced people be amongst the first things to land on the desk of the independent chair of the Care Review in England when they are appointed.

Alison O’Sullivan is former ADCS president writing on behalf of the 'Our Care Our Say' team

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