Members were invited to the Fostering Service’s Halloween fancy dress party on Monday 30 October from 1-3pm at Nettlesworth Community Centre, Chester le Street. An invitation would be circulated, with responses to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 October.
The Head of Children’s Social Care then welcomed the young people and introduced their video ‘We are People not Problems’ which the young people presented to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services which took place in Manchester in July. The video received a standing ovation at the conference and it was equally well received by the Corporate Parenting Panel.
Officers who had accompanied the young people to Manchester commented that the young people had made Durham proud and it had been a joy to be in their company on the trip.
The young people then gave a short presentation on the making of the video. They explained that the script was designed to illustrate that care experience should not be regarded as a problem. They explained how the making of the video had been a very positive experience as it brought them together and the friendships they made have blossomed. They spoke of how for some, this had been a new experience and they had been enlightened as to the extent of the difference their voices can make. The experience had provided them with the opportunity to network and those that presented the video at the conference spoke of how much they enjoyed talking to an audience and how they were overwhelmed by the support they received. They highlighted that only a short time ago, when some of the young people were just newcomers to the Children in Care Council, they would not have believed that they would present a video at the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. The young people concluded by saying they were honoured to have been chosen to participate in the event and they hope to participate in similar events in the future.
The Panel recognised the powerful impact of the video which they described as humbling, emotional and inspirational and officers commented that the video remains a talking point.
The Panel thanked the young people for bringing their experiences to life, which is helping to challenge negative perceptions of the care experience and they highlighted that the young people’s voices will influence the care experience in the future.
The Head of the Virtual School commented on how far the young people had come since their first video ‘We are no different’ and she requested to show the ‘We are People not Problems’ video at the spring Designated Teachers meeting.
The Panel requested that enquiries be made with a view to showing the video at a future meeting of the County Council.