Making sure children's voices are heard and that they have a say in their future
Who is this service available to?
We work with children and young people who are, or have been, in the care of Lancashire County Council.
Our aim is to ensure the rights of these children and young people are protected and that their needs are met through the best services possible.
We operate an open access policy to ensure the children and young people we work with have access to all the information stored about them. This means that any information we are given regarding a child or young person will be available to them.
This service helps children and young people in care to have a say about what happens in their lives. All young people in the care of Lancashire County Council aged 0-18 years are eligible for the service including those living at home or with friends and extended family and care leavers, up to the aged of 21. Also eligible are children in need, defined under section 17 of the Children Act, and young people approaching 18 years and moving into adult services. We also work with care leavers.
An advocate is there to listen to what the child or young person has to say and what they wish to happen.
An advocate can support in various ways:
- Attending reviews/meetings with, or on behalf of, the child or young person
- Helping with placement issues
- Discussing contact arrangements with family members
- Making complaints
- Providing information.
This service contributes to the welfare of a child or young person by promoting their developmental, social, emotional, educational, religious or cultural needs. All young people in the care of Lancashire County Council aged 0-18 years are eligible for an independent visitor.
Independent visitors (IVs) are carefully selected volunteers who make an open ended commitment to befriend a child or young person and establish a trusting relationship. They receive training, ongoing support and regular supervision.
What they do
- Visit the child or young person once or twice a month, away from the home
- Plan activities to do together to help develop the relationship.
A virtual IV is an adult who volunteers to build a supportive and trusting relationship with a young person over the phone, by instant message, email and through online activities and games.
If you are interested in volunteering for this service please get in touch.
How to access this service
Young people can refer themselves to our services or be referred by another agency. We will not start working with a young person unless they are fully aware of the referral.
Service manager: Kirsty Clarke