Shinderpaul Bhangal, Team Leader – Participation, introduced the report with details participation from March 2019 to September 2020 with focus on the Engagement Strategy and highlights of the engagement undertaken by the Council with Young People.
Five priority areas for Children and Young People were identified as follows –
In addition, three emerging priorities have been identified –
The Covid-19 crisis impacted the services provided to children and young people. The Committee noted that the roll out of new technology across Warwickshire County Council has allowed for new ways of working such as virtual meetings. These were not always popular with children and young people who prefer face-to-face meetings. The Committee considered that this was due to isolation being a concern for many children and young people.
The Committee noted the other examples of working during the Covid-19 crisis including –
health/wellbeing by young people for young people
The Committee was introduced to five young people from the Children in Care Council (CiCC) and the Warwickshire Youth Council (WYC) who had been invited to the meeting to give their views on engagement and participation and to answer questions from the Committee.
Beth Nelson (CiCC) stated that while virtual meetings are better suited to her lifestyle, face-to-face meetings are preferred. They are less formal and allow her to meet up with friends and staff to have proper conversations, hot drinks and a chat. Virtual meetings have tended to be much more formal.
Tarwender Atkinson (CiCC) stated that she liked both virtual and face-to-face meetings; although there can be more issue with virtual meetings such as technical issues. Online meetings can be more restrictive; genuine conversations are easier face-to-face.
Adam Ratcliffe (WYC) told the Committee that has a Young Carer with a parent who is shielding, it was very hard not to get the time away from home to speak to friends and staff about issues or concerns. It is much harder to have a private conversation on-line.
Following a question from Councillor Jonathon Chilvers in relation to the leaving care transition, Beth Nelson replied that her experience had not been a positive one and that she had no preparation for what would happen once she turned 18 years old. Tarwender Atkinson agreed that support for leaving care should be started earlier that 16 or 17 years old to give young people a chance to properly plan for their future. The Committee noted the comments in relation to mental health and the impact poor preparation can have; as well as the additional impact of Covid-19 on ... view the full minutes text for item 4