The 'Pledge' to children and young people in care

Promises to children and young people in care

The 2008 White Paper "Care Matters: Time to Deliver for Children in Care" required that every local authority set out a Pledge to children and young people in its care.

Redcar & Cleveland People's Services set up a task group to facilitate the development of the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Pledge in partnership with children and young people in care.

The key tasks to achieve this were:
  • Develop a 'Pledge' which covers the range of support, care, parenting and services that children in care can expect
  • Ensure the 'Pledge' is monitored and updated and that the views of Children and Young People continue to influence decisions about their care

Children and carers of children in care aged over 9 years were contacted and invited to take part in the work. 17 young people aged between 11 and 17 years opted to take part. The young people attending took part in team-building sessions and helped to develop a suggested pledge, which was subsequently used as a springboard for negotiation with Corporate Parents.

Monitoring and updating the pledge

Throughout the consultation process, the message that the pledge was not a paper exercise was reinforced and that the pledge was something that would be relevant to every child and young person in care and leaving care. It was agreed that the pledge would be reviewed every 3 years.

In May 2010 the promises were reviewed and re-launched in October 2010. This is when the 'Pledge' was re-branded as the 'Promises'.

In mid-2013, a review exercise was conducted. The promises were reduced in number and re-launched in October 2013.

Updated promises

In March 2016 members of the Looked After Childrens Council Have Your Say met with Corporate Parents to discuss and review the promises to looked after children and care leavers. It was agreed that there were too many promises making it was difficult for people to remember them all. As such the young people, together with Corporate Parents, which included the Lead Member for Children and Education, Redcar and Cleveland Childrens Champion, the Chair of Redcars Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership, the Service Manager for Looked After Children and Care Leavers and independent reviewing team representation began the process of reviewing and amending the promises.
Over the next couple of months the young people developed a new set of promises, condensing the original 20 down to 5 clear headings. To help people remember the promises the young people also came up with a catching acronym using the first letter from head of the 5 promise headings. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councils revised promises are now easily remembered as

LISTEN, ACHIEVE, COMMUNICATE, ENGAGE and SUPPORT LACES - tying up our promises to looked after children and care leavers

We promise to listen to the voices of all looked after children and care leavers, ensuring they are not only listened to but where appropriate, acted upon.
We promise to offer you incentives to stay in education, employment and training, celebrating your achievements and successes.
We promise to support you in expressing your opinions about your care, whether that is having access to the support from your independent reviewing Officer, or the information needed so that you can make a comment or complaint.
We promise to give you opportunities to engage with other looked after children, young people and care leavers via our looked after children council groups.
Where appropriate to do so we will support you with contact with your family and friends.
We promise to support you with all of your needs, keep you safe and healthy, and give you all the advice, guidance and support you need so that you can achieve your full potential and when ready to do so live independently

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