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Action for Children endorses call for children to have more say in selection of care home staff

The charity Action for Children has endorsed a call for children to have more say in the selection of care home staff.

In a report entitled Residential Children’s Homes published earlier this week by the House of Commons Education Committee , MPs spoke to various ‘witnesses’, professionals involved in work with children, experts and people with direct experience of life in the care system.

The report declares:

“Many of our witnesses emphasised that, alongside formal qualifications, personality, interpersonal skills and experience are important factors in making for good residential care workers. We agree that if children in care played a greater role in selecting care workers, they would be more likely to find staff that they could relate to. We recommend that the Government works with local authorities and children’s homes providers to set up pilots where children in care are given a greater role in selecting their care workers.”

Luke Rodgers, a “young person with experience of care”, recalled the great difference made by care home staff who genuinely  engaged with the children in their care. He told the MPs:

“On this woman, I can only tell you how I feel about her. She just gave me some warmth and genuinely cared. She listened to me and would sit and do things and spend time with me. She would want to watch a programme on television that I would want to watch. It was very simple things. Much of the time I explain it by saying that simple acts of kindness for a child in care are few and far between. They never happen […] If just one person in a home […] performs a kind act for a child in care, watches a film with them, cooks their favourite meal or just really listens to what they want, it just fills you with warmth.”

Jan Leightley is the acting executive director of operation at Action for Children. She said:

“With any relationship you know if you click with somebody. This is the same for children in care and their support team which is why we support [this] recommendation. Care workers are everything to a young person; they are there when they wake up, get home from school or in the middle of the night if they wake from a nightmare.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Anon says:

    How can I request free information from Marylin

  2. Andrew says:

    Shall we let them choose their teachers too?

    How about letting offenders select prison officers?

    Is this real or has someone released the April 1st joke early by accident?

  3. vob re says:

    Andrew, its called the Humanitarian touch, once you lose this
    you become an unfeeling ‘Robot’

  4. vob re says:

    Anon i believe you follow this blog regularly; Marilyn often points
    people in the correct direction.

  5. Anon says:

    That is a different anon then me. I commented on the Indian case earlier about taking the views of the children. The first poster is someone else, I guess I deserve it for picking such a name. The irony is not lost on me.

  6. vob re says:

    Maralyn did have offices that provide a 30 minute free surgery;
    I think that they still do it

  7. Luke says:

    This does seem pretty bizarre – the fear would be that the care home staff will have to suck up to the children and curry favour in order not to be removed by those same children.

    It is likely to lead to real problems.

  8. vob re says:

    No more problems than they have already. This may prove to be a far better approach. I don’t think anyone is inferring anything other than firm consistent boundaries other than showing some compassion when needed.
    After all isn’t that what the government are promoting,
    Loving environments ! Isn’t that what most people want for their own children at home this could go someway to replicate this.

  9. Luke says:

    “No more problems than they have already. ”

    Well, if we think the standards of carers now are $h1t then maybe it couldn’t get worse, otherwise I think the risks I described are very real – of course it depends how it is implemented and how much influence they have.

  10. Michael says:

    The more say children can have in care homes and the service offered to them, is ultimately in their benefit since it prepares them for becoming independent and taking responsibility for their lives.

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