The Children in Care Council (CICC) is a group of young people aged between 13 and 18. We are all in care, and we all live in East Sussex. We meet up regularly to have our say on issues that matter to us and other young people in care. We have been meeting since September 2010 and will carry on meeting until summer 2016.
What exactly does the CICC do?
Our job is to try to help improve the lives of children in care, by letting those in charge know what life in care is really like. We meet every month, usually at the Archery youth centre in Eastbourne. Our meetings are not public meetings but you can come along if the CICC invites you. We meet with Council leaders and heads of Children’s Services from East Sussex County Council at least twice a year to put forward our views.
We go to other events too, like conferences in London. This helps us understand what is going on in the rest of the country and gives us the chance to meet looked after children from all over the country. We get to mix with lots of different people which helps build our confidence to speak up.
Some issues we have been working on this year are:
- fundraising for the Make a Wish foundation and Help for Heroes with a charity car wash
- developing ‘surgeries’ to talk to more looked after children
- finding the best ways of getting the views of young people aged 7 to 11
- producing a newsletter for other young people in care in East Sussex
- consulting with the leaving care team, the virtual school and CAMHS
- working with the Anti-Bullying Team to become peer educators
- learning more about how to be safe online when using Facebook, webcams and so on
- sharing ideas and helping to arrange the annual awards ceremony for looked after children.
- we have designed a pack of playing cards explaining your rights and entitlements
Our pledge for Looked after Children - new for 2014
These are our promises to all children in care and to young people moving on from care to adult life:
Download: East Sussex County Council's pledge to children in care(Adobe PDF, 10MB)
We want to hear from you
If you are in any sort of foster or residential care, you can get in touch with the CICC about anything in your life that you’d like to speak out about such as:
- a problem you have with contact with your family
- your education
- your social worker
- where you live
- an idea you have to help other children in care.
The CICC can support you to talk about whatever issue you want, and can put you in touch with other people who can help. We would love to hear about anything you have to say. There are over 600 young people in care in East Sussex and everyone’s ideas are important – so please tell us what you think. You can also get in touch if you’d like to come to one of our CICC meetings.
Children in Care Council
St Mark's House, 14 Upperton Road
East Sussex BN21 1EP
Phone: 01323 747159, or call or text Meshelle Dale, CICC coordinator on 07920 591138.
More information about some of the CICC members
‘Hi, I’m Charlie*. I have been in care for five years. I’m now 14 years old. Since I have been in care I have had a brilliant life. My foster family has taken me on permanently, so I am going to stay there until I want to leave. Since I have been in the CICC I have become a bit more confident speaking to people.’
‘Hi, my name is Vincent and I am currently in my second year of being in the CICC. I am 18 and the oldest member of the group. I had my first experience of being in care at the age of two. I joined the CICC because I was really curious about what went on behind the scenes and how I could make a difference. I think the CICC are doing a fantastic job and hope the work continues for many years to come.’
‘Hi, my name is Sam*. I am 14 and I am currently in my second year on the CICC. I have been in care since November 2007 and in a permanent placement since March 2009. I joined the CICC to help other people who are in care and need support and answers.’
* Names have been changed.