Ask the expert: Improving services for young people
Lee Culhane from our Children’s Services Strategy and Commissioning Team explains how Care Ambassadors are having a positive impact on our care system.
What is a Care Ambassador?
A Care Ambassador is a young person, aged 16 or over, who is or has been in the care of Hampshire County Council, and can give advice from the perspective of someone who knows what it is like. The main aim of their role is to use their experiences to help the County Council continue to develop and improve services to meet the needs of children in care today and in the future. There are are currently six ambassadors aged between 17 and 23.
What do they do?
Using their knowledge and experience of being in care, Care Ambassadors provide training, advice and guidance on how the services delivered to children and young people in care can be improved. They work alongside social care teams, foster carers, senior managers, Elected Members and other people linked to the County Council. Care Ambassadors support the development of participation groups across the county. This provides opportunities for children in care to get involved, and make their views known to decision makers about how to develop and improve services. They attend national meetings with other local authorities to share Hampshire’s good practice, ensuring this is incorporated into national policy and guidelines created to help improve care across the country.
What are they working on?
The Care Ambassadors are working on the Hampshire Pledge for Children in Care. The Pledge aims to ensure that children and young people in care have equal access to the same range of key services and support wherever they live, go to school, or work. This reflects the commitment from all the partners within the Hampshire Children’s Trust, including Health, Education and Social Care, to all children and young people in care and leaving care. The Care Ambassadors are also working on a new website to provide an information hub for children and young people in care.
How can I get involved?
If you would like more information about Care Ambassadors call 0845 603 5620 or email email@example.com