Giving Something Back

Jamie-Leigh has lived with us since April 2012 and has been an active resident, participating in many activities and events at the Trust and also with Children and Young People’s Services.  I decided to interview her on the involvement she has with other agencies to help give back something to the care system.

First, a bit of background!  Jamie-Leigh lived in her family home up until September 2009 when there were issues concerning abuse and she was taken into care.  She lived in an emergency foster placement for 3 months and then was placed in permanent foster care until April 2012.  Jamie-Leigh had a few problems with some of the other foster children and was therefore removed from the home and placed in our emergency bed space through her Social Worker.  We housed her for 2 months and were able to then offer her a place in our main project where she has lived ever since.

“I am on a panel of people for Social Services called ‘No Labels’ and this gives young people a voice on what’s happening in care like budget cuts and staffing, evaluating trips and events, planning future events including doing budget plans for them and raising money to go.  It’s called No Labels because we shouldn’t be labeled as just a child in care.  It’s gives us the chance to have more involvement in the system.   There are other young people who go as well who are representatives from subgroups, as well as Managers of teams and Youth Workers.  We have guest people come to the meetings to discuss certain topics such as a nurse coming to talk about health issues”.

“I am the chairperson for the leaving care subgroup so that gives me the chance to be the representative at the No Labels meetings.  The leaving care subgroup is for those young people who are 17 and over and are leaving the care of Social Services and moving out of foster care.  As part of this role, I have had the chance to take part in interviews for new staff roles such as Youth Workers, Child Protection Plan workers and Independent Reviewing Officers. I have also been on a foster care panel to ask and answer questions to prospective foster careers.  I took part in a testing for proof of age for Trading Standards as well where I had to try to buy alcohol with no ID to see if they would ask for it”.

“At the Trust, I am the chair of the monthly house meetings held with the residents and the Senior Project Workers.  I am responsible for advertising the meetings, inviting residents, making an agenda, typing minutes and leading the meeting.  We talk about the Trust and what the residents want to see happening with activities, any health and safety issues, and it gives us the chance to talk about any issues or ideas we have for the Trust.  I have been able to take part in the last staff recruitment process as well where I met the interviewees on a pre-interview day and got to ask them questions and give feedback to the interview panel”.

“I enjoy having the chance to have a say on how services can best help young people and I hope that this then helps others who use the services in the future”.

Jamie-Leigh is providing valuable input into the services she works with and is helping shape the future of care.  The Nottingham Post wrote an article on Jamie-Leigh which can be found at

http://www.nottinghampost.com/mum-jamie-leigh-19-mother-hen/story-21027571-detail/story.html

 

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