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Involved by Right Project Newsletter 1

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http://www.participationworks.org.uk/involved-by-right

Involved by Right is an EU Daphne programme grant-funded project which seeks to improve participation and advocacy in child protection to achieve better outcomes for children at risk.

The project is unique in that it will ensure theactive participation of children with experience of the child protection system and those in public care. The project started in March 2011 and will end in February 2013.

A strong partnership of five organisations has been brought together to bring expertise of children’s rights to front line practitioners: Barnardo’s and National Children’s Bureau (NCB) which are two UK non-government organisations, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (UK) Helsingborg local authority (Sweden) and the local Social Health Unit in Bassano del Grappa ( Italy).

The project has been designed to deliver a specific Daphne programme priority: “Field work at grass-roots level with involvement of children and young people to empower them to protect themselves and their peers against violence.”

  • Find out more: http://www.participationworks.org.uk/involved-by-right

    Involved by Right is an EU Daphne programme grant-funded project which seeks to improve participation and advocacy in child protection to achieve better outcomes for children at risk.

    The project is unique in that it will ensure theactive participation of children with experience of the child protection system and those in public care. The project started in March 2011 and will end in February 2013.

    A strong partnership of five organisations has been brought together to bring expertise of children’s rights to front line practitioners: Barnardo’s and National Children’s Bureau (NCB) which are two UK non-government organisations, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (UK) Helsingborg local authority (Sweden) and the local Social Health Unit in Bassano del Grappa ( Italy).

    The project has been designed to deliver a specific Daphne programme priority: “Field work at grass-roots level with involvement of children and young people to empower them to protect themselves and their peers against violence.”
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Involved by Right Project Newsletter 1

  1. 1. Welcome and Introduction Hello and welcome to our first Involved by Right newsletter! First, let me give you a brief introduction to the Barnardo’s and National Children’s Bureau (NCB) project. Involved by Right is an EU Daphne which are two UK non-government organisations, programme grant-funded project which seeks the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (UK) to improve participation and advocacy in child Helsingborg local authority (Sweden) and the local protection to achieve better outcomes for children Social Health Unit in Bassano del Grappa ( Italy). at risk. The project is unique in that it will ensure the The project has been designed to deliver a specific active participation of children with experience of the Daphne programme priority: child protection system and those in public care. “ Field work at grass-roots level with involvement of The project started in March 2011 and will end children and young people to empower them to in February 2013. A strong partnership of five protect themselves and their peers against violence.” organisations has been brought together to bring expertise of children’s rights to frontline practitioners: BACK NEXT1
  2. 2. It is envisaged that children and young people will From my own perspective, It has been particularly be at the forefront of project activities through the enjoyable to see how partnerships have come emphasis on: together to form a strong alliance around Article 12 • Participation – young people who have UNCRC principles, which for this project is about experience of the child protection system will empowering children to be active participants in child be recruited to Youth Advisory Boards (YABs) in protection decision-making processes. Children in the three countries to help steer the project. YAB the child protection system are too often ignored representatives will take part in transnational because of the challenges involved in balancing project steering meetings, and a residential event rights that are about protection and rights that are in the UK. They will also be supported to develop about participation. The aspiration is to make a real resources for young people to have their voice difference by providing effective advocacy support heard in the child protection processes. for children to have a say in decisions that affect their lives. At the end of the project, we will bring • Advocacy - an advocacy model will be piloted to effectively enable children to influence findings together in an international EU protocol to decision- making in individual child protection set standards for children’s active participation in planning processes. the child protection system. A best practice toolkit and young people’s resources will be produced by The project set -up stage is now almost complete and involving the YABs in all stages of the developments. the pilot field work study and YABs pilot field work study...is now up and running. I think we all recognise In addition to bringing you up to speed with the project that the progress would not have been possible group’s aspirations and work to date, this edition will without the transnational meetings which have taken also introduce you to Amanda Rodgers who is our place in England and Sweden. These meetings international YAB coordinator. Amanda will help make have provided a forum to think about advocacy and arrangements for young people to participate in participation in a broader, international context and to transnational project steering group meetings, and host share knowledge and experiences of best practice by the young people’s residential event in the UK in 2012. bringing together practitioners and experts in the field. I hope you will all join me in welcoming her to the project. BACK NEXT2
  3. 3. I am really grateful to everyone in the project team for the commitment to develop project delivery plans which sets out the details of the project description. I hope this newsletter has helped you get to know the project better, and watch this space for updates of Involved by Right activities. If you want to find out more, the contact page provides contact details to the project leads in each organisation. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and all the best! Camilla Webster Involved by Right Project Manager BACK NEXT3
  4. 4. The Project The key, specific aim of the project is: 3) Research and development – the National “ To improve participation and advocacy in child Children’s Bureau research team bring much protection to achieve better outcomes for valued expertise and will undertake a literature children at risk.” review, evaluate the UK field work study of advocacy in child protection, and help coordinate The project has four overlapping work strands with the evaluation of advocacy approaches in foster their own objectives: care and residential care in Italy and Sweden. 1) Participation – a Young People’s Shadow Board 4) Knowledge transfer – round table discussions has participated in project design and has set and workshops will be held at transnational up activities. A Youth Advisory Board will be meetings on the topics of advocacy and set up in each country to help steer the project participation. At the end of the project a and develop resources for young people and dissemination conference will take place in professionals. In the UK, young people will have London, UK to bring together partners and had experience of child protection processes, professionals and YAB representatives. The some will also have care experiences and a care evaluation report, best practice toolkit and leaver will chair the YAB. In Sweden, the YAB will young people’s resources will be published and be made up by young people in a residential care disseminated at this event. unit. In Italy, young people will be recruited from a regional area and will participate in hosting the transnational meeting in Italy in the autumn. 2) Advocacy – in the UK an advocacy model will be developed for children in child protection as a partnership between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Barnardo’s. The pilot will also include developing a Strengthening Families approach to improve the engagement of families in child protection conferences. In Italy and Sweden, advocacy approaches will be piloted4 in foster care and residential care settings.
  5. 5. News New child protection advocacy project In June, an article was published in Children and Young People Now with the heading ‘Safeguarding: Advocacy programme gives children chance to be heard’. The article stated that: “ Barnardo’s will be running a new child protection advocacy project in Kensington and Chelsea after the authority secured EU funding as part of its wider Involved By Right scheme. “ The project will be evaluated by the National Children’s Bureau and involve young people from start to finish.” A link to the full article is provided here.5
  6. 6. Transnational project meetings London meeting A young person from the Shadow Board, supported by NCB, gave a brief presentation on principles of The first Steering Committee (SC) meeting was held participation. The Shadow Board was tasked with in London on 4 and 5 April 2011. The purpose of putting together a job description and application form this meeting was to introduce partners from the UK, to recruit Youth Advisory Board members. YABS are Sweden and Italy to each other and to find out about due to be up and running in September 2011 in the EU project and budget management rules. UK and Sweden. The Italian partner is taking a regional NCB gave a presentation on how Involved by Right approach and the timescale will therefore be different. would build on and share expertise from programmes The full presentations from the first Steering such as ‘Participation Works’, ‘Young Inspectors’ and Committee meeting are available on the Participation ‘Youth Advisory Boards’. Works membership area to be shared more widely A ‘How to’ guide on Youth Advisory Boards has been within the partnership. The website provides access published, and a broad range of participation resources to useful participation information and resources, and can be found on the NCB website click here. as project partners, NCB will share other resources for free on request. To access the website click here: A proposed research strategy was circulated and the project manager in each country has been discussed by the NCB research lead. It was agreed provided with password details. that further work was needed to determine the local research approach in both Sweden and Italy. This was to be finalised at the June meeting.6
  7. 7. Sweden meeting The workshop focused on ‘Common Assessments’ in early intervention in the UK. In Italy, the Common The second SC, a workshop and a round table Assessment Framework is used in statutory childcare discussion was held in Helsingborg, Sweden from processes. It was noted that the ‘Assessment Triangle’ 20 to 22 June 2011. The SC programme covered - which underpins the framework by providing progress on Youth Advisory Boards and the pilot dimensions of children’s needs, parenting capacity fieldwork study. The Research Strategy was also and family environment, is used in all three countries. agreed at this meeting. Helsingborg presented PART - a service delivery The focus for the round table discussion was model to pool local authority resources together to ‘Advocacy’, with Barnardo’s delivering a presentation deliver prevention projects (in English, ‘Preventative on advocacy approaches in the UK. It provided Work Together’). Current projects are ‘SkolFam’ – important insights into the direct work with children children in foster care; ‘Utsikter’ – children in families involved in child protection processes. of long-term income benefit claimants and newly arrived in Sweden’; and HUB – long-term children supported long-term by multiple agencies. NEXT7
  8. 8. PART has now been expanded to include international collaboration by taking part in the Involved by Right project to improve participation of vulnerable children and young people in care planning and organisational development work. The host country gave a presentation on ‘Achieving Educational Outcomes for Children in Care’, which focused on the use of educational assessments and attainment measures to monitor educational progress. The emphasis was on building strong and effective partnerships with schools, social workers, foster carers, birth parents and the child. The findings are very encouraging and show that effective educational support to children in care has a significant impact on outcomes. An article has been published in the international journal ‘Adoption & Fostering’ (volume 35, No. 1, 2011), and can be accessed by contacting the project manager in Sweden (see contact details). Save the Children in Sweden gave a presentation on Domestic Programmes, which include child poverty and child protection. More detailed information was also provided on the advocacy support provided by Save the Children (they undertake both individual and group work with children and young people). These advocacy experiences will be utilised in the project by young people being interviewed as part of the pilot field work study in Helsingborg. BACK NEXT8
  9. 9. Calendar Key milestones: August: Commission YABs up and running September: Submission of revised budget to EU. Field work studies up and running. Project delivery plans submitted. October: Transnational meeting in Italy. November: Progress report submitted to EU.9
  10. 10. Contacts UK Lead Agency Project manager: Camilla Webster Email: Camilla.Webster@rbkc.gov.uk Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea Operational Project manager: Jonathan Williams Email: jonathan.williams@rbkc.gov.uk Barnardo’s Project manager: Alison Levy Email: alison.levy@barnardos.org.uk National Children’s Bureau Project manager: Nicola Murdoch Email: nmurdoch@ncb.org.uk Sweden Project co-ordinator: Maria Rosendahl Email: Maria.Rosendahl@helsingborg.se Italy Project manager: Claudia Bontorin Email: Claudia.Bontorin@gmail.com10
  11. 11. Spotlight on ... Name: Amanda Rodgers I have also been involved with projects such Job title: I’m not sure at the moment! I’m currently as Teenagers to Work, Stepping Up and the the Looked After Children (LAC) Advocacy and development of our Children In Care Council. Participation Officer, but this will change shortly. How did you become involved From September I’ll be doing three days as a child in the IBR project? protection conference advocate for Barnardos, and two days on the IBR project I would have been involved anyway with the setting up and work with the Youth Advisory Board. Likes: Sunny days and coffee However, I was also really interested in the advocacy Dislikes: Rainy days and tea role, but it was only part-time. So it all worked out quite nicely! How did you get into participation work? Could you tell us a bit about your experience of the child As a young person, I got into youth leadership and it protection system? developed from there. Most of my career has been spent working with children and young people in This is a relatively new role for me. I have supported some form. a couple of children with child protection plans, and it is undoubtedly a very unfriendly environment for What were you doing children and young people. before this role? I am hoping that the combination of the advocacy I have been the LAC Advocacy and Consultation offer and the new Strengthening Families model for Officer for the last few years. This has involved conferences will enable children and young people to supporting individuals with complaints, or challenges be at the heart of the process. This will mean having to decisions being made about their care, and their views taken into account and their wishes ensuring their rights are being met. translated into actions for the plans. BACK NEXT11
  12. 12. Tell us a bit more about What are your hopes running a residential with for the IBR project? children. Sounds like a tricky job! I hope that it will change the way children and young Nothing to it – you just need lots of energy and lots of people are worked with in child protection situations. caffeine! It’s the part of the job I most enjoy, as it’s much I believe that it is the right of every child and young less formal and you have a real opportunity to get to person to be heard by adults who make decisions know the children and young people you work with. about them and, while child protection is a particularly My favourite part is seeing them making friends sensitive area, ways can always be found to make it with each other. Obviously the residential event will appropriate for the children and young people. be slightly different, as we will have young people At the end of the project we hope to be able to share present from both Sweden and Italy. This will our learning with others, and have a lot of proven naturally bring its own set of challenges, but as long suggestions of ways in which children and young as long as we can all communicate with each other people can be involved. we should be alright! BACK NEXT12

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