For people working with children and young people

As children and young people, we are the experts in our lives. We know that things are much better when we work together with adults in our lives, whether they are from the Trust, the council, our schools or other places.

We have helped write this guide to working together because we want to make sure that everyone that works with us and our families or carers is able to hear our voice.

As you read through this guide, you will see that it is written by children and young people to the adults that work with us. We thought it was important to use language that everyone can understand, which means we haven‘t used words like participation and co-production.

What we have done so far

Before this guide to Working Together was written, we had the ‘How Can I Help You?’ Participation Strategy. How Can I Help You was the name that we chose for the four I’s of Invest, Inform, Involve and Influence. We have kept the four I’s in this new guide and you can read more about them on the next page.

In the three years that we had How Can I Help You, lots of really good things happened in the Trust to make it easier for us to have a say in the things that matter. As the Chairs of the children and young people’s groups we are happy that we have had the chance to help write Working Together, and look forward to making things even better in the future.

We get regular newsletters

We celebrate the FIYA awards every year

We co-chair the Corporate Parenting Board

We have activities during the school holidays

We get a booklet that tells us what our rights are

We are more supported when we make a complaint

We do interviews, inductions and lots of Trust events

Other organisations in the West Midlands using our four I’s

We get a coming into care box with loads of useful information

The National Youth Agency gave us a flagship Hear By Rights award

We are able to become Young Ambassadors and work with the Trust

We have our own website with a special area for when we have left care

The computer systems have changed so our voice can be recorded better

The Participation Team visit us when we come into care and when we turn 17

Have you seen the four I’s?

Making sure that everyone knows how important it is to work together, and that the right things are in place to make it happen

Giving us the information we need to be able to help make decisions about our life

All about the different ways that we can work together with adults, on our own or in groups

How working together can make a difference to all children and young people, now and in the future

What matters to us?

We worked together with adults from the Children’s Trust to make a list of the things that are important to us when working together.

  1. We know we have a right to have our voices heard
  2. Treat us like individuals, we are not all the same
  3. We should all have the chance to get involved in things that matter, it is your job to make this happen
  4. Use language that we can understand
  5. The things you write about us should be truthful, and everything you know about us should be put on our file
  6. Our culture and identity is really important to us
  7. Make sure the places that you take us or see us are nice and welcoming
  8. Be honest and try to understand how we feel