West Sussex children in council held ‘Treat me the same’ workshops on addressing stigma, focusing particularly on children being taken out of class.


Following findings on stigma related to being in care brought up by the Bright Spots survey, the West Sussex Children in Care Council explored this issue through ‘Treat me the same’ workshops.

What did they do?

The ‘Treat me the same’ workshops particularly focused on children being taken out of class to attend meetings and reviews. Workshops involved several stakeholders including the virtual school and the corporate parenting panel. A number of changes came out of the workshops:

    • The specialist nurse for looked after children has committed to arranging health assessments after school or during the school holidays wherever possible.
    • The Independent Reviewing Service has committed to holding reviews in the young person’s home or a venue other than school to suit the young person’s needs.
    • The Virtual School Head speaks to designated teachers and head teachers at every meeting about holding meetings outside of school hours and actively challenges any professionals that use schools for visits/checks.

The Children in Care Council created videos for schools, professionals and young people in care to highlight the need to treat young people in care in the same way as you would treat those not in care. See ‘Things not to say to kids in care’ here.

These videos have been shared on the Tools for Schools website as resources for teachers. They have been viewed nearly 500 times.

What difference is it making?

The workshops were highlighted in their 2019 Ofsted report as an example of how children are involved in developing services.