Young people who have grown up in care are helping ensure the next generation get the best experience from the places they call home.
Supported living accommodation in Blackpool is being visited by young people who have experienced the care system themselves as part of an innovative Young Inspectors scheme to monitor quality.
They are all aged over 16 and have experienced living in care themselves.
Young Inspectors are visiting children’s homes on behalf of the council
Their role is to visit children’s homes and speak to the young people living there as well as the staff, using their own experiences to help them assess the quality.
Two of the young inspectors joined a meeting of the council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee to tell them how the scheme was working.
Councillors heard this included visiting homes, chatting to the children and the staff and following up any problems that were raised.
The committee was told: “What it shows is, it’s possible to do well in life and being a young person growing up in care doesn’t stop you doing anything you want.”
A report to the committee added: “A Young Inspector is a volunteer aged 16 plus who has experienced living in supported accommodation and has been or is one of our children.
“Young Inspectors support the quality monitoring of accommodation by visiting the homes where our children live , speaking to young people living there and assessing how safe and how well cared for our children are.
“They get a feel for how welcoming and homely the homes are and used their own experiences to help them assess the quality.”
All the young inspectors are fully trained in consultation skills, questioning skills , confidentiality and basic safeguarding, and are supported by the council’s commissioning team.