The Bright Spots survey shows that young people need to feel safe and settled where they live, and that where they live should be right for them. Care leavers who feel unsettled are more likely to have low well-being.
Isle of Wight Council asked senior managers to provide more suitable accommodation for care leavers. Young people were involved in the commissioning process.
That was a massive piece of work…starting a tender process inviting potential providers to get involved…There were questions that young people wrote that were included in the application form. When providers came to an information session it was co-hosted by young people…[they helped with] the scoring of applications at every stage, making sure it was fit for purpose…That took over a year to do. It was done in the right way and the result been the best outcome for our young people.
This piece of work demonstrates that it is possible to involve young people in complex decision-making. For those young people involved they felt listened to and increased confidence.
It blew their mind that they were able to have an input into something at a strategic level.
Future survey findings will show if the accommodation is more suitable and whether young people report feeling safer and more settled.
Children and young people are involved in all sorts of aspects of how we commission services and evaluate services.