The voice of the child is an important voice within Orchard Fostering

The young person’s thoughts, views and opinions on decisions and services that affect them are important to hear and support. That is why in early 2020 a young person’s ambassador board was set up by members of Orchard Fostering’s social care team, bringing four young people in foster care and four young people who are birth children of foster carers together.

These young people were between the ages of 8 and 17 years of age and became the voice and advocate for all young people involved with Orchard Fostering.

First Official Meeting

The first official meeting took place in April 2020 and the young people decided they wanted to call themselves ‘A Young Orchard Voice’. Since the establishment of A Young Orchard’s Voice, the team have met at least once a month every month. They have worked on two big projects and have met with the board of directors and EPIC.

The First Project

The first project completed by A Young Orchard’s Voice was the development of a placement move booklet. The young people highlighted that there is a need for more communication and information sharing with young people when they are coming into care, moving placement or their family is starting fostering and this is what led to the creation of the placement move booklet called ‘Getting To Know You’.

This booklet contains information about the family and home that they will be moving to and also has space for the young person to write what they would like the family to know about them. New policies within Orchard Fostering were then developed to implement and support this before being introduced to all of Orchard Fostering’s families in October 2020.

The Second Project

The second project was a booklet from young people to other young people, to offer advice, support and guidance, as well as information around commonly used care words. This booklet provided an insight into personal experiences of the young people on the board around entering the care system and being in foster care as well as being part of a family who fosters. This booklet was launched online with an event that many young people, professionals and foster carers attended including the CEO of TUSLA and the Children’s Ombudsman on February 19th to coincide with Care Day 2021.

The young people have many more ideas and plans for future projects that they look forward to sharing.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOKLET

Contact Us

Orchard Fostering,
14 Joyce Way, New Nangor Road,
Park West Business Park, Dublin 12
D12 F9X8.

Phone: 01-627 5713
Email: info@orchardfostering.ie

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