Children in care youth council win top national award for their work in Cambridgeshire

Voices Matter children in care youth council win a top award

Voices Matter children in care youth council win a top award - Credit: Archant

A youth council made up of children in care has won a top national award for its work to improve outcomes for children and young people.

The Voices Matter panel, who are either in care or have been in care themselves, beat 500 entries for the Children and Young People Now magazine awards in the ‘Children in Care’ category.

Entries had to meet the criteria for a local authority or care provider that has done the most to improve outcomes for looked after children or young people in residential care, foster care or other types of placement.

Children’s Participation Manager Michelle Dean said: “We were delighted to win such a prestigious award. The Voices Matter panel who attended the awards ceremony were overwhelmed by their win, but so proud. We hope it will encourage other young people to become involved.”

The judges were looking for examples of exceptional teamwork, joint working or activity above and beyond the call of duty.

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The Voices Matter group meets to discuss issues and policies affecting young people in care in their area.

They have previously visited the Houses of Parliament to represent the views of children in care and have made two short films which are used to train new foster carers and social workers.

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Made up of young people and senior staff from Children’s Social Care at Cambridgeshire County Council, they meet every school holiday, when young people discuss issues with key decision makers.

They have created their own service plan after consulting with other looked after young people to identify issues that they feel are important to them.

Voices Matter were also picked for their work which has had an impact beyond Cambridgeshire.

Three animated films highlighting the views and feelings of young people in care have now been viewed more than 40.000 times on YouTube and are used nationally as part of fostering courses.

One of them – Finding my Way – won a national BFI documentary award.

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