Involving children and young people in developing social care

Case study 1: Care Action Team, Hampshire Children's Services

Service provided by organisation

The Care Action Team (CAT), established in 1999, is a group of young people who are, or have been, in care. They work alongside members and officers of Hampshire County Council to improve the services offered to children and young people in and leaving care.

Characteristics of children/young people involved

Seven care-experienced core members aged 15-21: 5 females and 2 males. Majority of users are white.

How participation has been developed

CAT was established following concerns raised by children and young people about the care system within Hampshire. The project is young person-led and facilitated by two previous members who are now employed by the council. The team holds a general meeting once a month and meet outside this to focus on specific pieces of work such as consultations, inspections and training provision. There are six bursary posts for young people who are more heavily involved in the project's work. The team also visit residential homes to ensure that the views of the most vulnerable young people are gathered.

As 'experts' in the care system, we train and give presentations to professionals who work with young people; advise and challenge managers on decisions relating to the services that affect young people; promote the importance of 'true' consultation with young people; and work to change society's stereotype of young people in care.

CAT member

Hampshire County Council has demonstrated a commitment towards participation through the funding of a participation officer. The work of the Care Action Team is led by young people themselves; they have control over the agenda and activities. The participation workers offer support and facilitation.

Changes or improvements as a result of children and young people's participation

Evidence of outcomes from participation

The project has produced the following documentation to evidence the development of participation:

Contact details

Contact person and role: Morag Currie

Address: Care Action Team, Hampshire County Council Children's Services, Trafalgar House, The Castle, Winchester SO23 8UQ

Telephone: 01962 845 700