Involving children and young people in developing social care

Case study 6: Wider Horizons, Scottish Throughcare & After Care Forum

Service provided by organisation

The Scottish Throughcare & After Care Forum represents the interests of young people leaving care. From 2002- 2005, the Forum's work to promote young people's participation came under the name Wider Horizons Young Person's Group. The Debate Project enables young people to raise leaving care issues with decision-makers. It is a young person-led project that was started as part of Wider Horizons.

Characteristics of children/young people involved

10-15 core members, aged 16-25. The majority of young people have experience of the care system. There is an even gender mix and the majority of users are white.

How participation has been developed

Until September 2005, the organisation had a full-time young person's development worker with responsibility for developing participation and supporting the Debate Project. The project's main aim is to raise awareness about issues affecting young people in and leaving care. Participation is emphasised within the organisation's mission statement and aims, as well as in staff inductions, training and job descriptions. There is a dedicated budget for involving young people both in the organisation and in the Debate Project. This budget includes staffing costs, travel expenses, food and other resources.

The core group of young people involved in the project meet eight to twelve times a year and are involved in:

Young people receive training on a variety of topics including participation.

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: Alison Caulfield-Dow (national coordinator)

Address: 2nd floor, 37 Otago Street, Glasgow G12 8JJ.

Telephone: 0141 357 4124