What is A National Voice?
A National Voice is the ‘National Children in Care Council’ for children in care and care leavers, who are passionate about how the care system works and how it affects those within it.
We work to improve the care system through the voices of care experienced young people. We will empower children and young people by giving them the skills and support to make real change at both a local and national level.
We also work with care experienced children and young people to overcome issues which we feel are significant, through local and national campaigns, influencing government and creating opportunities for children in care and care leavers to come together in shared spaces.
How A National Voice Works
Working with Children in Care Councils
As the ‘National Children in Care Council’, we work with Children in Care Councils across England to explore key issues and inform campaigns or projects around what is important to young people.
We aim to work with Children in Care Councils across England in the following ways:
- Hold events for children in care councils to network and influence national work
- Polls and surveys to understand what is important to children in care and care leavers
- Campaign work – support children in care councils to get involved in national campaigns and action campaign work locally
- Include children in care councils in consultation including the 2021 Independent Care Review in England
- Promote the work of children in care councils across England
A National Voice ambassadors
Our A National Voice ambassador programme brings care experienced young people living in England and aged 16-25 together in order to represent young people’s voice nationally and develop campaigns or resources to address the issues that they identified. Through our ‘A National Voice Ambassadors Group’, a core group of young people recruited annually from across the country, represent each region.
ANV Ambassadors aim to work across England in the following ways:
- Meet together monthly and work together
- Organize and run events for children in care councils
- Develop and run campaigns on issues that are important to children in care and care leavers
- Talk to decision makers about care and what would make life better for children in care and care leavers
Meet A National Voice Ambassadors
Should you want to get in touch with your ANV Ambassador please e-mail ANV@coramvoice.org.uk
Campaigns and work
On Tuesday (25 October 2022) we held our A National Voice ‘Amplify event’ in Manchester.
The event was attended by almost 100 care experienced children and young people and the day celebrated the amazing work done by Children in Care Councils, held workshops with Ofsted and the Department of Education on things that mattered to children and young people, launched the new ‘Support Our Journey’ mental health campaign and held the A National Voices awards. There was also some musical performances including a rap and a couple of songs!
|Support our Journey|
In early 2022, A National Voice asked children in care and care leavers to vote on which campaign they should focus on. 42% choose ‘Support our mental health & wellbeing – e.g. Children and young people offered mental health and wellbeing support and professionals understand our needs.
A National Voice have created an activity for young people to use with professionals and decision makers called ‘Support our Journey’. A National Voice have worked to identify what the ‘problems’ are in relation to children in care and care leavers mental health as well as the ‘solutions’ and put them into statements.
|Advocacy, Independent Visitors and Care Experience Consultation|
This youth consultation was created by two children’s rights charities National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) and Coram Voice after the publication of the Independent Care Review in England.
We have designed a number of short activities for you to support your children and young people to share their thoughts and feelings with us about advocacy, independent visitors and care experience as a protected characteristic. We want to make sure that Government hears from as many children and young people as possible while they are deciding which recommendations they take forward.
We will be sharing everything collected directly to Government but will also be creating our own report so you can see exactly what children and young people from all across England have had to say and what the important messages for Government are.
|Home is not a Placement|
The campaign that aims to support children in care and care leavers to be empowered to ask for the things that make a house a home, and push local authorities, foster carer’s and residential settings, to really think about how they support young people to feel at home.
They chose Home is Not a Placement as the topic for their campaign, after looking at the key findings and messages from children and young people that have participated in the Bright Spots survey.
|A virtual campaign, with the aim of dismantling the stigma and negative stereotypes that people hold about children in care and care leavers. Care experienced children and young people and professionals filled in downloadable cards and shared via social media how they would “Change the Label”.||More info|
|Independent Review of Children’s Social Care consultation|
Our A National Voice Ambassadors (a group of 24 care experienced young people aged 16-25 from across England) developed workshops for young people to have their say on the area’s highlighted in “The Case for Change”, as well as any other key issues that young people want to talk about that have not been included in “The Case for Change”.
We sent these resources for the workshops to Children in Care Councils across England, supporting them to run sessions locally to gather children and young people’s feedback on the review.
Follow A National Voice on social media
We want all young care experienced children to take part in A National Voice and become part of our online community by using the hashtag #ANationalVoice and following our @coramvoice social media accounts Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
How to get involved
Get involved! If you are a young person in care (aged 13-25) sign up to the ANV newsletter to hear more about what ANV have been up to as well as hear about opportunities for you to get involved:
Do you support your children in care council? Then sign up your children in care council to A National Voice Network! Sign up so we can contact you about opportunities to get involved, ANV campaign updates and resources and how you can support young people to become ANV Ambassadors. Sign up here
You can email ANV@Coramvoice.org.uk for more information or to find out more about getting involved with A National Voice.
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