Introduction by Councillor Hynes
I’m so pleased to have been appointed as Executive Member for Children’s Services for Trafford Council. It’s been a very busy few months, where I’ve been meeting children, young people, parents, carers, staff, and partners.
It was a real privilege to welcome young care leavers to a Care Leaver Takeover Day of the Council in June where care leavers gave Council Officers and Politicians their perspective on a variety of Council decisions and processes. The young people I met and worked with that day provided their insight on the way we run our services which was incredibly enlightening.
I was encouraged to think about how we, as Corporate Parents, can pull together to support children and young people in care to have aspiration for the future and to guide them; helping to build their skills and knowledge to do the things they want to. As a parent this may have been something I’d taken for granted in relation to my own children, and is now something I pledge to do as a Corporate Parent.
I was also inspired by children from the Children in Care Council who presented their Annual Report to the Corporate Parenting Board in July. Hearing about their experiences of being in care and the things they thought would help to improve those experiences made us all think.
Both the care leavers and representatives from the Children in Care Council told us how difficult and confusing it can be at times to understand the myriad of new rules children are constantly introduced to, especially when beginning new placements. I was challenged to think about how we can make those journeys less confusing and less stressful for children.
Also, in recent weeks, the impressive Equalities Council of Trafford College came to talk to Councillors about the knife-carrying culture, impacting so many communities and young people in particular. To learn about this matter from the perspective of young people was eye-opening. It’s so important that we understand the varying reasons some young people carry knives if we stand a chance of eradicating this terrible problem.
I’ve also met with teams across Children’s Services, with parent’s forums, foster carers and partners; from health, the police, education and the community. I’m learning so much and am looking forward to continuing to build those valuable relationships, which help us work together, to provide the best care and support to children and young people.