Involving children and young people in developing social care
Case study 13: Rights and Participation Project (RAPP), funded by Social Services, and the Warren Centre, with support from Connexions Humber
Service provided by organisation
Established in 1997, RAPP offers independent advice, support and advocacy to children and young people in need or at risk, aged between 9 and 21 years old.
Characteristics of children/young people involved
An inclusive project for young people aged between 9 and 21 years old, including some who are disabled.
How participation has been developed
Participation and listening to young people is emphasised throughout RAPP's literature and job descriptions and is stated in the 'RAPP code', the value base of the service.
Young people have been involved in: designing service information, staff recruitment, and service development by completing the 'snapshot review' questionnaire. The project works with children and young people to help them voice their views on the issues that are important to them and to influence local services.
Numerous young people's groups operate at the project: young trainers who run workshops for social work students and foster carers; a 'Bog Off Bullies' group, one that campaigns about the exclusion of young people with disabilities; a drama group for young people in care; and a peer-mentoring service.
RAPP works alongside other agencies to influence local services and the council. A regular young person's newsletter keeps young people and partner agencies informed about developments and opportunities at the project. RAPP also works with social services and other local agencies to ensure that young people are involved in shaping the services that they receive and that their views are listened to.
Changes or improvements as a result of children and young people's participation
- Involved in the consultation for the appointment of an appropriate disabled young people's advocacy worker.
- RAPP has reinforced the value of involving young people with other local agencies and is regarded as a key driver in promoting a children's rights approach. A number of local agencies now involve young people in social services recruitment and selection.
Evidence of outcomes from participation
The project has produced the following documentation to evidence the development of participation:
- York University evaluation
- Social Services Inspectorate evaluation
- RAPP code
- young person's newsletter.
Contact person and role: Craig Clark (coordinator/children's rights officer)