Barnet on Point (#BOP)

#BOP is the Council for Looked After Children in Barnet. It is a group of young people aged 12–25 who are in care or have experienced care, who aim to represent the voice of young people in care, to raise ideas or concerns about how to improve services. The group meet regularly, participate in consultations, and research and deliver events to young people in care to gather their views and raise their voice. The group also attends Pan London Children in Care Council meetings and contributes to ongoing dialogue around corporate parenting both locally and nationally.

The group have monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of every month, 5.30-8pm at the Onwards and Upwards Centre. All young people in care or who are care leavers are invited to attend. As a young person who has experienced care, we would welcome your input and invite you to come along and get involved. There are opportunities for training, work, and to make positive change that will help other young people.

To find out more, please see here.


Children in Care Survey

The hildren in care survey – is carried out every year, and gives children in care and care leavers a chance to share their views about their experience in care. We like to gather your views and opinions so that we can tell decision makers what needs to improve and what is currently good within the service. By taking part in the survey you have a major input into improving the services you, and all children and young people in care receive from Barnet.

Corporate Parenting Officer’s Group (CPOG)

This meeting takes place every 6 weeks, and is where the key services that support children in care and care leavers meet to discuss the work we are doing and progress against our Corporate Parenting Plan. At the meeting decisions are made about how we deliver services, young people’s feedback is shared and issues are raised so that solutions can be discussed. Young people are invited to attend once a quarter. If you would like to attend, please let your social worker or PA know.

What if I do not get the support I need?

Sometimes we may not be able to provide you with the support you feel you need, or we may not agree to provide you with a particular piece of funding or service you have requested.

There may be several reasons for this so it is important you understand the reasons for you not getting the support you feel you need.

Your PA will:

  • record any decision made not to provide you with a service or funding and the reasons why; and

  • tell you about the reasons for this decision and give you details of the complaints and appeals processes.

If you are unhappy about a decision, firstly you need to try to talk to your PA before making a complaint, as they may be able to help you understand more about why this decision has been made or why the support is not available.

Advocacy

The Council has a statutory duty to provide an advocacy service for children and young people age 0-25 who are residents in the local borough of Barnet and are in care or receiving a leaving care service to support them to be able to express their wishes, views, secure their rights and represent their interests.

This may involve making a complaint or putting forward a representation for a change to be made in the service they receive or the placement they live in.

Barnet care leavers are currently able to access advocacy through two organisations who provide such support:

  • Action for Children - who deliver our independent visitors scheme which has been extended to include advocacy for careleavers.

  • Young Lives Foundation - have a dedicated care leavers advocacy project and support Barnet Care Leavers with advocacy services.

Information on services within Barnet or in the area where you live can be obtained through the organisation Coramvoice

Our commissioning team will be developing list of advocacy services in the near future so that you have a choice of services to approach.

Complaints procedure

An advocate can help with understanding rights and entitlements, submitting a complaint, understanding the response and dealing with any issues that come up along the way.

If, after discussing your concerns with your PA and/or advocate, you remain unhappy with the service received. You are able to contact the Complaints Officer by:

  •  email: FSComplaints@barnet.gov.uk

  • online: www.barnet.gov.uk/family-ccc

  •  paper form – available from Onwards and Upwards

  • telephone – 0208 359 7008

  • in writing – Family Services Complaints Officer, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP.

If you want to tell us your views on policies or anything that relates to the support and services available or any ideas/innovations you may have to improve services, write to us via the Children in Care website https://www.itsaboutme.org.uk/

What if I want to give positive feedback?

If you to want to let us know about something we have done well, you can send us an email to fscompliments@barnet.gov.uk or let your worker know directly. It is important that we hear about the good things too, so we can make sure we keep doing them!