Children in care and care leavers have been integral to many of the different ways in which Sheffield have responded to the Bright Spots findings – children have developed and led their own projects as well as scrutinising strategic plans. To further develop the voice and influence work the local authority has created paid work roles for care-experienced young people.


Sheffield have created 4 new posts for Voice and Influence (V&I) workers for care experienced young people. These posts are salaried at ‘Grade 3’ and there is a minimum number of hours per month agreed. The roles will support the wide range of voice and influence activities e.g. supporting Scrutiny Panel, outreach work, leading on projects in the groups and be commissioned to be consultants in other settings such as health, the Virtual School and Universities to help them set up Scrutiny Panels and similar. Each post is shaped around the individual and their availability, skills & interests.

So far V&I workers have:

+ Run training sessions with social workers at University around the realities of being care experienced and what makes a good social worker.

+ Trained 15 new Personal Advisers in what makes a good PA – the session is really creative and together everyone builds up a picture of a ‘Ninja PA’ (see next slide).

+ Co-delivered sessions with the younger children in care council.

+ Developed top tips for health colleagues (GPs).

Everyone across the council is excited to see what else will be developed! As this V&I worker said “I feel totally legit and so official. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me”.


Four care-experienced young people are now in role. Feedback on their sessions from both children and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. V&I workers themselves have reflected on the what the new role means to them saying: “I can’t believe that I used to go to the Children in care council and now I am going to be a paid worker running it!”