1. A hobby horse of mine, but 'careleavers" are still often viewed as best represented by articulate professional (usually young) adults, often graduates, who have emerged from care to do well professionally, often in a health or social care profession. I was one of these too >
2. "Care" is usually viewed as foster care, particularly as most young people in care are fostered, with a nod of recognition that perhaps the less fortunate may be in children's homes. Representation of children in care on councils, etc tends to come from those in foster care>
3. Sometimes using children in foster care locally to represent children in care happens for practical reasons given these kids are not placed miles from home & are often the most willing to engage with professionals.The others often remain silent & unheard>
4. On this day when @article_39 raise the awful plight of children being held in mental health institutions & the shocking care so many receive, I will share my oft repeated (& equally often ignored) view & make my plea once more>
5. "Children in care" aren't all in foster care, or even foster care & children's homes. Many are in residential schools, health care settings for people living with physical of mental health issues, adoptive care, kinship care, unregulated care settings, custody, on the street >
6. "Children in care" must not be simply defined by statute, regulation or convention as being in care, but must include all children being cared for, managed or controlled by other people away from their parental home for a whole range of reasons. Children are children.>
7. When was the last time consultation about care included children placed in all of these settings? The next time will be the first time I suggest. We merely scratch the surface, usually the nearest, least threatening, most cooperative face of this massive diversity of children>
8. And "careleavers" are too often seen as represented by those who have successfully coped in care & gone on to achieve degrees & visible success.They ( & I include me in that) are seen as somehow representative & able to speak on behalf of all care experienced folk. We can't>
9. As the promised care review becomes more "imminent", however much of a stage managed circus it turns out to be under this administration, I hope it takes into account one thing when it considers consulting & engaging the care experienced community >
10. The Care experienced community is massively diverse. It includes people under 10yrs of age & over 80. It includes people of all heritages, colours, sexual orientations, social standing, intellectual capacity, achievement & political opinion >
11. The care experienced community includes children in all care settings, including those managed by health & mental health authorities. It includes those in secure care, those in unregulated settings & those with adopter & family members. We must listen to them too >
13.Care experienced adults are of all ages over 18. Those in ordinary jobs or unemployed, those with degrees & those without, those in professions & trades, those who cope easily with life & those who struggle, those who can give support & those who need it.>
14. With an estimated over 1/2 million care experienced people in the UK, most may be hard to reach. They're ordinary people like you & me. When the imminent care review happens, let's hope it engages the wisdom of this care experienced community. All of it. It will be a first

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More from @IDickson258

9 Nov
1. Another thread of my rambling reflections about the politics of the care experience going back to the 50's to the present day. >
2. As I have said, the 50's/60's were brutally savage with violence towards kids routine across care. No complaints procedures, no advocacy, no pressure groups. Stigma, discrimination, feelings of abandonment, homelessness, etc etc >
3. I was in the job throughout the 70's until I retired in the noughties. I've been around the care system for almost 70yrs & must have seen 100's of care settings & spoke to 1000's of care experienced people. I've watched or taken part in care leaver politics most of my life >
Read 11 tweets
6 Nov
1. I find "co-production" an interesting term when trotted out by care professionals. It can translate as including 1 or 2 carefully selected & poorly informed young people in care in focus groups to validate decision making by professionals. This can also be called "tokenism">
2. "Co-production" must evolve from those with power introducing mechanisms to engage & consult the care experienced community of all ages in all their diversity in policy & decision making, & ensuring through transparent respectful education that the community is well informed >
3. We need to have healthy & clear mechanisms nationally & locally for decision makers to engage the care community as equal partners,, not just using a few selected kids in care or careleavers to validate corporate decision making. We've had that for years >
Read 6 tweets
23 Oct
1. Another ramble about consulting care experienced people. I'm supporting the @ourcareoursay team to get the views of care experienced people as in the public domain & shared with the (yet to be named) Chair of the Care Review Let's start with the survey smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WMGW1P/
2. smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WMGW1P/ I'm asking care experienced people of ALL ages, whoever you are, where ever you are, to complete the survey. The results will hopefully offer a collective view of the participants about who should be involved in the Review & what needs to be reviewed.>
3. The last I heard a few days ago, there were over a hundred completed surveys already & some really interesting points being made about engagement with the Care Review & what needs to be included. If you're care experienced, please complete & submit it. It adds to the learning>
Read 12 tweets
22 Oct
1. A year ago today, the #careexpconf team presented the care experienced conference reports to the Secretary of State in person. The messages about what care experienced people wanted were passed on to those in power, as promised >
2. eventbrite.co.uk/e/our-care-our… One year on, the #careexpconf team, @CareLeavers, @NIROMP2 & a team of care experienced people came together to offer care experienced people another opportunity to be heard by government>
3. The @OurCareOurSay2 team has been conducting it's survey recently, which is continuing. The survey results will form the basis of an on line conference for care experienced people on 7th November. >
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
1. Some information about the @OurCareOurSay2 survey which you will have seen over the past week. (There is a link attached to this post). Care experienced folk of all ages, in all our glorious diversity, are being asked to complete it and send it in > smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WMGW1P/
2. There've been a few questions about it, which may have led to some confusion. Some folk asked whether @OurCareOurSay2 is part of the forthcoming Care System Review. No, it is not. There is no Care System Review yet & the Chair is yet to be announced > smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WMGW1P/
3. The @OurCareOurSay2 project is a very diverse group of people, some care experienced, some not. Some are part of @NIROMP2, @Careexpconf & @CareLeavers, others are care experienced supporters. All are committed to getting the care community heard > smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WMGW1P/
Read 10 tweets
13 Oct
1. @educationgovuk @10DowningStreet @vickyford Just wondering, do you plan to release the name of the Chair of the English Care Review any time soon or has the Review gone on the back burner? As Scotland get on with delivering their Promise, Westminster continue to say nothing>
2. I think the care experienced family want to know who'll be Chair so it can assess how seriously this govt will take the Review, or will it be another exercise in delivering govt policy rather than a genuine move to reform the care system based on listening to those involved? >
3. I think the care community will want to see real Scottish style steps to get their views heard as widely as possible, as @NCFscotland & "1000 voices" sought to do in Scotland. Will England mirror that? How will the Chair & the Review listen to the silent ones nobody notices? >
Read 5 tweets

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