National award for Sheffield’s Children in Care Council

Sheffields Children in Care Council wins a national award at the Children and Young People Now Awards ceremony, The Hurlingham Club, London
Sheffields Children in Care Council wins a national award at the Children and Young People Now Awards ceremony, The Hurlingham Club, London

Hard work to help improve child in care experiences has won Sheffield’s Children in Care Council a national award.

The group of 13-18 year olds, who have all experienced the care system, were given a Children and Young People Now award, Wednesday night for their work to create a board game to help our foster carers, residential staff and social workers consider all aspects of what makes a good home.

The snakes and ladders style game uses a series of statements to help foster carers and residential staff think about what makes a good or a bad placement, and build on the support they provide to young people. The game ask players to consider a number of statements – for example,  is it important for carers to give clear boundaries and is it important that you are made to feel part of the family.

The game and its associated training programme has received national acclaim, been shared at conferences to hundreds of professionals across the country and adopted by a number of other local authorities to share with their staff and foster carers.

Lily,18, from the Children In Care Council, who helped to create the board game said:  “I can’t believe our work has been recognised with a national award.  We worked really hard to create something meaningful that can open up difficult discussions with our foster carers and social workers about what makes placements difficult or easier for us in a way that is fun and engaging.

“It is really important that foster carers and social workers don’t make assumptions about how we are feeling. Thinking through these issues is really helping us to challenge these assumptions.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Sheffield City Council said:  “It’s fantastic that our wonderful Children in Care Council have received national recognition for their brilliant work and won this prestigious award. The board game they developed provides an invaluable resource and insight into what it’s like to be a child or young person in care.  Well done and congratulations to all those involved.”

There are more than 250 fostering households in Sheffield. If you want to find out more about becoming a foster carer and the generous package offered, visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/fostering.