This project will explore the amount to which my positioning agency involves service users in the provision of services. I shall begin by providing a brief description of the company setting up, its remit and the 'service individual position' as this will determine the relevant service individual insurance plan documents. This assignment will show my knowledge of Government policy on service end user involvement particularly in relation to my service user group. I will attract on relevant research and evaluation material both locally and nationally. I'll also consider whether any 'pressure' groups have indicated views about service customer involvement in service provision. This can lead me on to discuss how my agency responded to nationwide and local help with service user engagement, making mention of agency coverage/procedure documents and also to practice types of 'good' or 'bad' practice. Finally, I will consider if there are any gaps and suggest ways that the firm may develop their service individual involvement.
My placement firm is in the voluntary sector. It is a leading national charity motivated by the belief that every child deserves a good youth. The agency works together with young people, between the ages of 9-16 years, who abscond from their house or service home. The company also has a mentoring design whereby children are allocated a mentor to help handle their issues. Whenever a young person is absent, a referral is delivered to the firm from the treatment home, vulnerable police officer or the social worker. A job worker then arranges to visit the young person and discuss the circumstances and incidents that led them to hightail it and what happened when they does so. The project employee also explores the risks of running away and how the service users can protect themself if indeed they were to hightail it again. The task worker will work alongside a great many other agencies such as communal workers, police, colleges, mental health firms, sexual exploitation companies and much more.
There are lots of insurance plan documents relating to children and young people. Among the first policies to add the engagement of children in the provision of services was the kids Action. Thomas (2000) (citied in SCIE guide 11, 2006, p. 9) shows that the 1989 Children Act "opened the way for principles to get started to be established that gave children an increasing influence on the outcome of decision making". The US Convention on the Protection under the law of the kid (UNCRC), approved by the united kingdom federal in 1991, was the first little bit of international legislation to acknowledge that "children are topics of rights somewhat than just recipients of security" (Lansdown, 2001) (citied in SCIE guide 11, 2006, p. 9). "Article 12 of the Convention claims that children and teenagers have the right to exhibit their views widely in all areas that they are involved with and that these views should be paid attention to" (SCIE guide 11, (2006), p. 9). The UNCRC has urged services to hear children and teenagers aswell as protecting them. Effective practice "requires working with children and young people rather than for them, understanding that acquiring responsibility for someone does not indicate taking responsibility away from them" (Kirby et al, 2003) (citied in SCIE guide 11, 2006, p. 11). Project employees from my agency would inform the children and teenagers of their protection under the law, I was recommended by way of a colleague that it can be beneficial to have literature about the 'Rights of the Child' in hand and also to give it to service users if you need to.
"Following legislation in Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has reiterated the UNCRC's dedication to children and young people's involvement. The Care Standards Act 2000 identifies the importance of their participation and that information about services should be produced available to children and young people in a number of accessible formats. Also, legislation regulating communal care procedures recognizes the participation of children and teenagers as an integral top priority" (SCIE guide 11 (2006), p. 10). Sociable care techniques such as attending child protection meetings, attended looked after children reviews and doing assessments were all part of my agency's participation with the service users plus they all engaged the service end user in the provision of services. When conducting assessments, the young person might be asked what areas they wish to get help on and at child safety conferences; the safeness and welfare of the child or young person is paramount. Key specialists work together, taking into consideration the views and thoughts of the child and the parents when coming up with a decision.
There is further commitment over the UK to require children and teenagers in the provision of services. "In Great britain, the kids and Young People's Unit produced core principles for the involvement of children and young people and each government department was urged to develop its plan to involve children and teenagers" (SCIE guide 11 (2006), p. 10). "In Great britain, the Children's Account, Sure Start and Connexions initiatives all echo this sentiment, requiring services to show that they have included the views of children and young people in their development and delivery" (SCIE guide 11 (2006), p. 10).
The Joseph Rowntree Base published a report in 2006 entitled, 'Making User Engagement Work: Assisting Service Customer Networking and Knowledge' by Branfield. F, and Beresford, P. This report has an in-depth study of two key components for effective customer involvement in health and social treatment provision. The first key part is service users being able to gather to work collectively for change and mutual support and the next component is the importance of service users making known their own experience and views. The survey was carried out using individual interviews and group conversations, 126 diverse service users needed part in various places. Many young people we worked with in my firm had the possibility to make their ideas and encounters known. One particular young person I caused was invited as a guest speaker in a group discussion affecting service users; the individual was delighted that she was presented with an opportunity to share her experience with similar young people who had similar life activities. Another service individual whom a fellow job worker was associated with was given the opportunity to share her activities with a media reporter and it was to be broadcasted on the local news programme. My placement organization has compiled the first UK report to target specifically on the activities children and young people had when required to set off (Rees. G and Siakeu. J, (2004), Thrown away: the activities of children forced to leave home).
Some of the teenagers referred to the agency are recognized to have mental health problems; the agency enforces the engagement of these teenagers in the provision of services. 'CAMHS' in Birmingham provides services to those who find themselves experiencing mental health complications. This service ensures that individuals who use the service are in the heart of most service development and delivery. 'CAMHS' supports regular service consumer meetings and it is the service users who sit down in the Governance Committees. This service also will pay an hourly rate to its service users and all travel expenditures are paid.
In my position agency, there were many opportunities for children and young people to take a dynamic part in the assistance they use. My company believed that children and young people had the right to be engaged in the decisions influencing them. Their involvement, aswell as service end user feedback was essential to improve services also to respond effectively with their needs. Engagement can make reference to the opportunity of children and teenagers to express themselves on decisions affecting them. My positioning agency engaged children and teenagers in 'individual' decisions. A person I caused was excluded from college and I needed it up to speed to get the young person another institution - involving the young person in your choice making process. Service users were also involved with 'open public' decision making, for case, one specific service customer was asked to share her encounters with a journalist and a camera team, which allowed her to feel involved with expanding services.
When browsing a residential good care home for children, I pointed out that children and teenagers participated on their own terms and lacking any adult making the decisions on their behalf. For instance, in terms of decisions in what they actually, where each goes and when they go. However, on the other side, this is often a form of bad practice. Lots of the treatment homes I visited were concerned that children and young people would be out all night, not knowing where they were and if they were safe. AFTER I asked personnel at the health care homes why they might allow the young person to simply walk right past them and out of the care home later part of the during the night, they replied that there surely is little or nothing they can do about it and if they did try to literally stop them, they may lose their job because "regulations doesn't allow it". Perhaps there's a dependence on pressure groups to actively influence this piece of legislation; this might reduce the number of children absconding from attention homes.
The Children Strategy Professional Group is a pressure group that was established to provide young people with genuine opportunities to impact, rather than just be consulted. The group fulfills councilors around five times each year and regularly fits on its own to discuss council business. The group shows issues with the council and bears our research. There have been changes and improvements because of this of children and young people's participation. The group has determined which services are problematic for young people and produced a 'measurements of success' development plan with the councils that packages out an action plan for services. The biggest change therefore of the pressure group is that young people will have their say, before; young people were forgotten and didn't have an opportunity to have their say.
'A National Voice' (ANV) is another pressure group that is run for and by young people who've been in good care. ANV's goals are to ensure teenagers in good care have a say in every decisions involving them and also to inform and impact central and municipality decisions about the care system in Great britain. There are numerous websites that are specifically run for and by teenagers and children. The British Young ones Council (byc. org. uk) can be an example of an organisation/website run for and by children and teenagers to stand for their views to decision manufacturers also to promote youth participation. Article12. com is a children's rights-based group run by as well as for children and teenagers. Gleam web based newspaper, headliners. org, which has given the opportunity for teenagers between the age ranges of 8-19 to research and write testimonies on issues that are essential to them for publication in nationwide and local papers, magazines, tv set and radio.
'Every Child Matters' (DCFS, 2003) is a renewable paper that was launched in 2003. This direction "emphasised the government's commitment to require children and young people in planning, delivering and reviewing policies and services that influence them" (SCIE guide 11, (2006) p. 10). The Government's goal is for each child to have the support they need to make a good contribution. Which means that children and young people will have a lot more to state about conditions that have an effect on them as individuals and collectively. This information informs every local specialist to utilize its partners to find out what works best for child. To get this done they "need to involve children and teenagers in this technique, so when the inspectors assess how local areas are doing, they listen especially to the views of children and teenagers themselves" (DCSF, (2003a). The first Children's Commissioner for Great britain was appointed in 2005 to give children and young people a words in administration and in public areas life. It's the role of the Commissioner to pay particular attention to the views of vulnerable children and teenagers and put them forward. 'Working Together: Hearing the voices of children and young people' is an modified version of the Working Together direction which was released in 2008. "This information promotes the involvement of children and teenagers in decision making in institution, local expert and related settings and provides advice on the ideas and practice that support such involvement" (DCSF Working Jointly, (2008), p. 3). My positioning agency responded to these information documents by allowing personnel to learn the guidance and also have usage of it. The team manager arranged a team interacting with focusing generally on these documents and how exactly we as a company in the voluntary sector should stick to these guidelines. Since the introduction of these guides, my positioning firm has produced a written report entitled 'When will we be read?' This record researches the failure of health insurance and social health care services in regards to impaired children and teenagers having the chance to exhibit their own perspectives or have been ignored when they have done so. The record suggests that inability to listen to children's views can have real implications for the lives of children and young people.
Overall, I think that my placement organization included children and young people in the provision of services very well. The agency adopted guidelines and ensured that all task workers used a client centred approach where children and teenagers were involved in any decisions which may influence them. From my location, I learnt that it's individuals who use the services who will be the true experts on how services should be developed and delivered. Personally i think that it was the children and teenagers who knew precisely what they want, what worked well well with them and how the company can improve. I think my placement firm can develop service user involvement by making certain project workers offer the service users a responses sheet to complete; this allows children and teenagers to become involved in services that influence them. Making sure that the voices of service users are heard will ensure that they are in a position to have an authentic affect on the support they acquire, which brings about greater performance within the service itself. Another manner in which the agency can develop its service end user involvement is to involve children and young people in every facet of the agency's project and at all levels - planning, delivery and evaluation. It might even be beneficial if the kids and teenagers help recruit and interview personnel as this will mean that the personnel have been approved by the service users, so it is likely that the service users will continue to work effectively and favorably with the staff. In return, the kids and young people can be awarded with vouchers for their contributions.
Inviting service users in to the office for group conversations can likewise have its advantages. Discussions with service users in group meetings can enhance just how children and teenagers feel included, this will give them the opportunity to vent any aggravation, reward or critic any job workers or make every other comments. Evaluation forms can also be used by the end of the group meetings to form activities for future ones. However, it can be discriminatory for personnel if a service user was to produce a negative comment in regards to a project worker in the presence of other personnel and it is unethical to restrict the service users' views and feedback. So perhaps it might be best if the group discourse was led by just one project staff member who has worked with all the service users in the group or if the group led by the supervisor - getting the director as the business lead can be advantageous. The advantage is usually that the manager can buy first hand responses about the shows of staff from the children and teenagers. This acts similarly to 'whistle blowing', and who better to gain information from about the quality of staff than the service users themselves.