Ian Dickson Profile picture
Grew up in care. Dad & granddad. Retired S/Wkr, Ofsted inspector, residential mgr & children's rights advocate. I stand with other people who grew up in care.
24 Nov 20
'Bad parent': children's watchdog to accuse state of care failings in England theguardian.com/society/2020/n…
"(Anne Longfield) will call for children to be more involved in the decisions made about their care, and will challenge politicians to do more than simply apply a sticking plaster to a system in crisis." At last!
"...there are children the system really struggles to accommodate. “It treats them as a risk to be managed, not a life to be lived. Despite the best efforts of some staff, these children can experience a system devoid of empathy, compassion and love.”
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov 20
So many issues arising from this... Examining how the Care Review should work cypnow.co.uk/blogs/article/…
1. Of course professionals & care experienced people must work together towards a care review. Everybody would want that. But they must start from a position of respected equals, who have equal say, but equals who do not share the same priorities or necessarily ambition >
2. The Scottish care Review did not happen simply because Nicola Surgeon decided one day it would happen. The happened following relentless pressure over a long time from Scottish care experienced people & Who Cares? Scotland. They convinced Nicola as she will tell you herself>
Read 12 tweets
20 Nov 20
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>
Read 13 tweets
9 Nov 20
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 20
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 20
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 20
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 20
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 20
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
12 Oct 20
ourcareoursay.wordpress.com 1. Just a few thoughts about the @OurCareOurSay2 survey & forthcoming event. I am supporting it, and would invite all my care experienced followers of all ages, who ever & where ever you are, to take part. Please have a look at this attached survey >
ourcareoursay.wordpress.com 2. Why support a @OurCareOurSay2 event? Why should care experienced folk bother when we've had so many crises, reviews, conferences, research reports over decades, which successive governments & professionals have simply ignored like old chip wrappings?>
ourcareoursay.wordpress.com 3. Why should care experienced folk engage with @OurCareOurSay2 or indeed a forthcoming Care System Review when those in power only listen to the same individuals/groups of people & nobody approaches or considers the most vulnerable care experienced folk?>
Read 11 tweets
10 Oct 20
1. ourcareoursay.wordpress.com Yesterday the "Our Care Our Say' survey to guide discussion between care experienced people of all ages about the care review was launched. It will shape an on line conversation to get the care family's thoughts "out there". I hope people support it.>
2. Just over a year ago, the @Careexpconf reports of the conversations between the care experienced community about change they wanted were published. They shouted loudly & clearly what was needed careexperiencedconference.com. it was ignored. > Image
3. Over decades, young people in care & care experienced people have patiently tried to share their views about care with power. Where their views didn't meet the agenda of the politicians, professionals & care sector leaders, they were quietly ignored >
Read 10 tweets
12 Aug 20
I recognise that for years I have been wasting my time trying to get Whitehall & the care industry to see the care experience as a single continuous experience that starts on day 1 in care & continues into adulthood. Having lived it, it seemed obvious to me & other "careleavers">
2. I genuinely believed that if we could get enough care experienced people together to explain to the politicians, civil servants & care sector bosses what the reality of care involved, they would recognise the need for reform. I no longer believe that. >
3. The concept of care, kids being in care, the "Care system' was introduced to replace Poor Law provision to protect children until they were deemed old enough to fend for themselves. It was a practical arrangement, not based on "care" in the sense that we care for our own kids>
Read 17 tweets
19 Jul 20
1. I'm fascinated by the disconnect in understanding & communication between care experienced people, speaking on here of the real issues they have faced through life, & professionals in the care industry >
2. I have followed the thread by care experienced colleagues started by @CareExpUK & read of people feeling abandoned, unwanted, abused, ignored, etc, so many issues, many very familiar to me in my own life & experience & from @careexpconf>
3. I meet & share views with so many care experienced people of all ages, including family, & hear of the lack of support, consultation & access to support for higher education, mental health support, access to their own information & of being moved around without consultation >
Read 13 tweets
16 Jul 20
1. I have no link with, nor am I sponsored or supported by any group, business or charity to take a particular point of view. My focus is always to promote the voices & interests of children in care & care experienced people. That sometimes requires blunt questions being asked >
2. For example, if as Ofsted repeatedly suggest, the overwhelming majority of children's homes or care providers are good or better & only a tiny minority are poor, why do other statistics show a disproportionate percentage of care leavers struggling once they leave care? >
3. Why are young care experienced people so prominent in the juvenile & adult justice systems? Homeless? Unemployed? Not in higher education? Struggling financially? Under supported by ongoing positive relationships? If care provision is so good, why does it fail so many?
Read 11 tweets
26 Apr 20
1. 12 months today since the conference for care experienced people @careexpconf. A truly wonderful & for some life changing event that enabled so many care experienced folk of all ages to come together & share their brilliant diversity, wisdom, courage & compassion>
2. @Careexpconf allowed so many care experienced folk to feel valued, proud of who & what they are, & to stop apologising for struggles in life caused by others' abuses, over which they had no control. For once care experienced people were celebrated & not a "burden on Society" >
3. 12 months ago today, the halls of the wonderful Liverpool Hope University rang with optimism, hope & laughter. Outstanding pieces of creative art, sculpture & literature of such power & beauty by care experienced people gave delight & pride to those often denied that emotion>
Read 12 tweets
21 Dec 19
1.The question as Christmas approaches shouldn't be about whether the care system needs reviewing but WHY. It's to achieve better 'outcomes'- whatever that means. It's because this Christmas we will see young careleavers having to choose between feeding themselves & keeping warm>
2. It's because this Christmas we will see young careleavers who won't be able to celebrate Christmas or buy presents for their own kids. Care experienced people who cannot afford rent & face homelessness, despair & utter destitution - 70yrs since the Children Act 1948.. >
3. Its because this Christmas we will see too many care experienced people struggling with stress, emotional trauma & mental ill health, with little or no prospect of getting appropriate mental health support or counselling. Leave care, get forgotten... >
Read 13 tweets