Care experienced young people across West Dunbartonshire will be able to have more say in the decisions that affect their lives thanks to £224,000 funding from the Life Changes Trust. The money will be used to set up and support a local ‘Champions Board’ in the area.
Champions Boards provide a unique platform for young people to draw on their own experiences to act as expert advisors, talking directly with staff and elected members from local authorities, health boards and other public agencies. In this way they can highlight the challenges that being in care can bring and how these challenges can be faced and overcome with the right support.
West Dunbartonshire will use the Champions Board approach as a way of working with their care experienced young people, to provide them with an informal forum to meet with the people responsible for their care, well-being and future life chances. It will also give them an opportunity to engage in a participatory decision-making process, so that they can have a say in local service design and delivery.
West Dunbartonshire has already established a Youth Forum for looked after and accommodated children, and the new Champions Board aims to engage with even more care experienced young people across the region. These young people will be fully supported to engage with people who they may not normally meet, so that they can inform changes and improvements to policy and practice.
The formation of a Champions Board in West Dunbartonshire is supported by Who Cares? Scotland, Y Sort It, West College Scotland, All 4 Youth and West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership.
Convenor of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Councillor Marie McNair said, “West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership is delighted to receive this funding which will help provide a platform for our young people to engage and build positive relationships with their many Corporate parents within West Dunbartonshire. The funding to introduce our Champions Board will help us ensure the voices of our children and young people are heard, their opinions respected, and we act on their ideas for change. As Corporate parents we are committed to ensuring every child in our care receives the same care, attention and personal development to make sure they strive from young children to mature adults and play an active part in society.”