What is the aim of your job?
To develop ways to consult and involve young people who are in
local authority care. I run a consultation group for looked-after
children to help get them involved in the decisions that affect
their daily lives. I also facilitate a range of social and
developmental activities, and I help looked-after children within
the borough learn about their rights.
What is an average day like?
My days are quite varied. I will come in at 9am and respond to
e-mails and phone calls. I produce a quarterly newsletter for young
people so I will often work on features for the next edition. I am
also responsible for making sure that all eligible looked-after
children are provided with a computer to help develop their IT
skills and make it easier for them to complete their homework. If I
have a group that night I will meet the council’s children’s rights
officer to discuss what will happen in the group later. I often
work weekends taking young people to the National Art Gallery,
where they set up sessions to educate them and inspire them to
produce their own pieces of art.
Who do you work with?
Looked-after children, social workers and carers.
What’s the best part of your job?
The young people are great fun to work with and they work hard when
given tasks. I enjoy seeing them grow in confidence.
What is the worst part?
Not being able to reach all young people.
What is your work background?
Prior to taking up this post I was a full-time student. But I have
always worked with children in paid and unpaid roles.
Do you need any specific qualifications?
Experience of the care system and experience of working
with young people.
What qualities do you need?
You need to have a real desire to improve the lives of
children in need. My own interest stemmed from the fact that I saw
the system first hand. I was in and out of care up to the age of
11, then stayed in care throughout my teenage years.
How much do you earn?
Any advice for those interested in this line of
Treat the young people like adults and be yourself around them.