Children in care give their views on council’s service
CHiLDREN in care say they want more contact with their families and that they don’t like it when their social worker changes.
These were some of the findings of a survey which asked young people aged 4-18 in the care system what they thought of the services the council provides.
The Your Life, Your Care survey was commissioned by Welsh Government and carried out by Coram Voice and Bristol university in six Welsh local authorities.
it was carried out in February this year and 146 young people from RCT participated, a response rate of 36 per cent.
The survey also found that 16 per cent of respondents felt they were not included in decision making and a quarter of those aged 4-7 who responded said they didn’t know who their social worker was.
But all of those children and young people who responded said they felt settled where they live.
Nearly 90 per cent of those who responded said they felt safe in their placements and more young people in RCT (90 per cent) said they could do the same things as their friends compared to those in other Welsh council areas (84 per cent).
Speaking at the latest children and young people scrutiny committee meeting, Councillor Sheryl Evans asked what is being done to place siblings together as a quarter of the young people who took part in the survey said they wanted more contact with their mothers and siblings.
The children’s services representative at the meeting said they always strive to place siblings together if that is possible.
Cllr Evans said it was not fair for siblings to be separated as it is “mental cruelty” and that the council needs to start addressing that.
Councillor Michael Powell said some of the comments made by young people were “very heart touching.”
He asked if the children’s services team would like to do this every year and they said they would as it provides “very valuable information” which makes it is very clear what they need to improve.
Cllr Powell also raised concerns about the low rate of response but one of the children’s services team present said a 36 per cent response was “very good” for their department.
Of those surveyed, 96 per cent said they could communicate in their chosen language but Councillor Heledd Fychan asked if there were languages other than Welsh and English that young people in care spoke because she said there are people from all different backgrounds in RCT.
The children’s services representative said they haven’t seen the data from Bristol university for this but that it is “very important” to them and that “we need to make sure young people are happy to express themselves in whatever way they choose.”
Young people in the care system were asked what they thought of the services the council provides