A new project giving young people who have been in care a chance to inspect local authority children’s services was launched yesterday at the House of Commons.
The Leading Improvement for Looked-After Children (LILAC) project trains care-experienced young people to inspect services, particularly looking at how young people are involved in key decision-making processes. Services that meet the agreed standard will be awarded the LILAC kite mark.
LILAC was initiated by user-led care charity A National Voice and is managed by Fostering Network, with the support of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the National Leaving Care Advisory Service.
The project has been piloted at York Council and West Sussex councils and its organisers hope to roll it out nationally. Evaluation of the pilot inspections found that looked-after children were more willing to open up to care-experienced inspectors.
A National Voice chair Lucinda Smith said: “The pilot inspections have shown us that care-experienced young people have much to offer in assessing and supporting the development of a service’s planning, reviewing, complaints and participation procedures. The young people involved have been fully trained and developed a robust framework of standards to inspect against. Now we’re looking to take LILAC forward and role it out at a national level but to enable us to do this we need the government to invest further in the scheme.”
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