Dundee Champions Board
Dundee Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £225,674 for the period of April 2016 to March 2019. They were awarded a further £100,000 to run from August 2019 to July 2021.
Dundee Champions Board – young people with care experience, corporate parents and local authority key personnel – work together to improve the care experience of Dundee's children & young people. The purpose of this funding was to further develop the existing Dundee Champions Board, with a particular focus on enabling young people with care experience to develop positive relationships, become active citizens through participation, and to shape policy and practice relating to their lives.
There has been a particular focus on:
- young people with care experience developing positive relationships and becoming active citizens through participation
- young people with care experience feeling able to shape policy/practice relating to their lives
- service providers and corporate parents developing better insights into the lives of young people with care experience
- practitioners and carers having improved opportunities to strengthen relationship-based practice
- improving understanding of effective Corporate Parenting at all levels within organisations
- informing and inspiring others in their interaction with young people with care experience
Throughout the funding, the Dundee Champions Board delivered engagement activities such as producing a short film, improving housing conditions, and applying for and receiving funding for outdoors team-building activities. The young people, through the Young People Participation Group (YPPG) also established Champions Boards in local schools, leading to changes in educational support, such as increased support hours.
More about the Champions Boards initiative
Champions Boards support young people with experience of care to work alongside those who make decisions about the care system. In this way, they are involved in the decisions that affect their own lives. Based primarily within Local Authorities, they are a vehicle for young people, Corporate Parents, and other professionals to come together with a shared goal. The aim is to ensure that services are tailored and responsive to the needs of young people with care experience. Champions Boards provide a powerful space for young people, elected members and key decision makers to come together, focussing on what works and what needs attention in their local area. Champions Boards build the capacity of young people to influence change, empower them by showing confidence in their abilities and potential, and give them the platform to flourish and grow.
Young people themselves set the agenda, learn leadership skills and advocate on behalf of their peers. They bring a vital dynamic that has a direct impact on decision-making in their own areas, and become engaged and active citizens as a result. The Champions Board approach is characterised by genuine relationships being formed between young people, staff, and Corporate Parents. This shift in culture from consultation to participation, from ‘doing to’ to ‘doing with’ is key in a Champions Board approach.
Champions Boards continue to be a fundamental part of the Life Changes Trust’s approach to creating transformational and sustainable change. In 2016, the Life Changes Trust invested over £2 million of funding for the first wave of Champions Boards. In 2017, the second wave was launched, bringing the total investment to over £4.4 million. The Trust now invests in 21 Champions Boards across Scotland and a national Network to support them.