Quick guide to Children in Care Councils
What is a Children in Care Council?

A Children in Care Council is an informal group that gives you an opportunity to voice your concerns and opinions on the help and support you get from your Local Authority. It’s generally made up of a leader and lots of people in care and care leavers. It’s an opportunity for you to speak to directors and managers of children services in your area, to help them understand your needs and improve how they help others.

Where did Children in Care Councils come from?

In 2008, the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) published a report called ‘Care Matters: Time for Change’. After this report, a law was passed that meant all Local Authorities have to arrange an open space for children in care and care leavers to express their views, problems and concerns about the services that the Local Authority provides.

What do Children in Care Councils do?

Members of Children in Care Councils meet up regularly to share advice, chat about issues and work on projects together. They help organise local campaigns and activities for those in care and care leavers.

They help and advise the local authority on issues that affect young people in care, and they keep their members up to date on changes that are being made to improve the support you get.

Who can join a Children in Care Council?

Anyone in care or leaving care can join their local Children in Care Council. It’s a great way to meet others who are passionate about sharing advice, making positive changes to care services and speaking up on behalf of those in care and leaving care. You can search for your local Children in Care Council here.

Why should I care?

Children in Care Councils are a very important way of helping you get your views and opinions heard by children’s services. They give you the opportunity to voice your views on the things happen in your area and to get involved with activities and campaigns on issues that affect you.

By getting involved, you actively take steps to shape the care system for you and others, as well as building skills that will help you in the future.

How can I get involved with a Children in Care Council?
  1. You can get involved in your local Children in Care Council using our Children in Care Council finder. Type in your postcode to find your nearest council.
  2. Speak to your social worker if you are interested in becoming a member of a Children in Care Council. They can help you find out where it is, how often it meets and how you can join.
  3. Contact your Local Authority
What is a Children in Care Council Pledge?

All Children in Care Councils have a pledge, which is essentially a list of promises that a Local Authority makes to children in care and care leavers.  It tells adults working with children in care what they should be doing to support you. Pledges are jointly created with the council members and directors of local authority children’s services.

Pledges help ensure that your time in care is the best it can be. Different Local Authorities have different pledge promises. However, they all focus on supporting you and meeting your needs – whether you are in care, leaving care or living independently.

To find out more about Pledges and your Local Authorities’ Pledge to children in care, please contact your local Children in Care Council or children services department.

Where can I find my local Children in Care Council?

You can find your local Children in Care Council using our finder tool.

I can’t find my Local Children in Care Council!

If your nearest Children in Care Council isn’t listed on our map, ask your social worker or get in touch with the Children’s Commissioner for England:

Email: info.request@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk