Getting your voice heard
Talking about your wishes and feelings, and knowing your rights are very important when you are in care. We will do everything we can to make sure you are safe, well and happy but we need to know how things are for you and to learn from your experiences. We have a legal responsibility to listen to you and involve you in decisions that affect your life.
Hounslow have made promises to all young people in their care which you can see here: The Hounslow Pledge
If you think that we are not providing the things we have said we will it is important that you tell us.
There are lots of different people you can tell including the people who look after you day to day.
Who can you speak to?
A social worker
Every young person in care has a social worker who is there to listen to you and make sure that how you feel is taken seriously. Your social worker will also be talking to your family, the people who are looking after you and the other important adults in your life. They will help make decisions with you and your family about what is going to happen now and in the future.
Sometimes social workers have to make decisions that you may not like, but they should always listen to you and explain why decisions have been made.
An Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
Your IRO is there to make sure that your Looked After Child Reviews are run properly; that your views are listened to; and, that your best interests are protected. You can read more about what they do here Independent Reviewing Officers
A Children’s Guardian
Not every young person in care has a guardian. Sometimes when adults can’t agree who you should live with they go to court. In court the judge will listen to everyone and then make a decision about who should look after you. A Children’s Guardian is just for you and will make sure the judge hears what you want.
The Participation Service is here for all children and young people in care and and care leavers. Their job is to listen to your views, experiences and ideas and make sure that these are heard by all those responsible for your care. This helps to keep improving the way that children and young people are looked after by Hounslow. You can contact us anytime at email@example.com or Chloe 07432 594042
The Participation Service organises lots of trips, projects and activities for you to have fun, try new things, increase your skills and confidence and get your voice heard. To find out what’s on offer go to Get Involved
Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO)
You can contact the Local Authority Designated Officers to share a concern about a person that works with children and young people who you know or suspect has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children
If you are unsure whether your concern meets these criteria you can contact us for further advice and guidance.
An Independent Advocate
Advocacy is a service which helps you to access your rights and express your point of view with the support of a professional advocate.
If you use this service, an advocate will work with you on a one-to-one basis to make sure your thoughts are heard and considered when decisions are being made about your life.
An advocate can help you if:
- You need something started, changed or stopped, for example, if you are unhappy about the way you are being treated by social services or you are worried about plans being made, such as a move
- You have a meeting coming up and need some support to make sure your voice is heard
- You need information and advice and want to know your rights
- You would like to make a complaint
To speak to an advocate from Action for Children call 020 7254 9408
See the GET INVOLVED section for more ways to get your voice heard
How to make a Complaint
You have to right to complain if a problem you are having isn’t being solved by your social worker or their manager.
You can find out more here complaints and comments
You can make a complaint online here make a complaint