Perth and Kinross Champions Board
Perth and Kinross Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £225,000 for the period of April 2017 to March 2020. They were awarded further funding of £92,000 to run from April 2020 to March 2022.
This funding established the Perth and Kinross Champions Board and enabled an existing group of young people with care experience called FYI - Fun Young Individuals - to build on their existing links with corporate parents. FYI is a group of young people with care experience who identify each other as extended family and obtain unique support from each other. They meet regularly to discuss issues that are important to them in consultation with other looked after children and young people in Perth and Kinross.
The Champions Board harnesses the enthusiasm and ideas of the FYI Group and supports them to engage with their corporate parents (local authority personnel and service providers) to help them better understand the challenges they face.
With additional staffing resource and funding, the FYI group has been able to expand and participate further in engagement and involvement with other young people with care experience, as well as the important social activities that bind the group and make it feel like a family.
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.