... How Will You Hear Me...
Learning from Serious Case Reviews repeatedly highlights to us all the absolute importance of listening to 'The Voice of the Child'. The Voice of the Child also includes babies who are pre-verbal and children with disabilities who may communicate in more varied ways. It is important to ensure that we listen to children and young people, take time to observe babies/children and try our utmost to understand all children's lived experiences of their daily life.
Here is some resources to support opportunities for gaining the voice of the child and links to How Will You Hear Me video clips by Leicester City Council Rights and Participation Team who work to support and empower young people to be involved in and shape decisions that affect their lives.
Was not Heard was first showed exclusively at The Voice Conference in November 2019 which has been organised by The Social Care Learning and Development Hub, together with the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Boards and the Social Work and Youth and Community Division at De Montfort University.
Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in the UK in 1992, states that children have a right to an opinion and for that to be heard and taken seriously in all matters affecting them. This is widely reflected in national and local policy, and universally accepted as good practice across the UK. However, there is plenty of evidence that, this doesn’t always happen. So, what exactly are the barriers to hearing children’s voices in frontline safeguarding services? What can we do better to include and consider the views and lived experiences of the children and young people we work with? This one-day conference has provided the opportunity to explore and discuss these issues, based on the lived experiences of children and young people in social care, research in this area and the thoughts and experiences of practitioners with a keen interest in finding ways to improve practice around listening to children’s voices.
Guest speakers Andy and Matt Smith from Smash Life (smashlifeuk.com); two brothers who were placed into the care system by social services after neglectful parenting from their biological mother and father, who are now mentoring and influencing hundreds of young people to "Smash Life!" in the best possible meaning were the highlight of the day. Their powerful presentation moved the full house in De Montfort University's 'The Venue'.