Youth Participation Groups
Youth Participation Group
The H2I Youth Voice Participation Group is led by our Quality Manager, Rebecca Lillie. This group was established in 2022 and has ensured our young people have opportunity to participate in improving the services they are receiving, support them to participate in decision making about key issues in their lives and greater involvement in planning and developing services. Children and young people experience a strong sense of ownership and connection to the service, they are supported to make real choices, gain confidence in communicating their views and feelings, and have fun and improve emotional well-being.
Expert by experience
Children, young people, care leavers and staff we employ who were in care themselves are experts by experience. Our strategy involves 3 strands.
- Consultation – gathering children and young people’s views on a particular issue or question.
- Participation – children and young people join in decision making from giving their views in a consultation through active involvement.
- Involvement – where children and young people are supported to have opportunities to take part in key events to co-produce solutions.
Quality Checkers’ are children and young people currently living in H2I residential homes and supported accommodation provisions. This programme has been developed through the YVPG whereby children and young people can accompany QA auditors on visits to our homes and undertake a QC Audit.
The purpose of using Quality Checkers in H2I homes is to ensure all young people are receiving consistent care, support and opportunities within H2I homes through the eyes of a young person. It empowers young people to have a voice that goes beyond their own home and share what works well and not so well in their home to help us improve our service.
The YVPG is led by the QA Manager and each H2I home has a nominated YVPG Lead within their staff team. Through discussions, key working and children meetings within homes with YVPG leads, visits by H2I Education Coordinators, and internal auditing by Head of QA and QA Manager children and young people are made aware of the opportunity and able to sign up and book on an audit. All young people involved in this service undertake an online Safeguarding course assigned by Liz Critchley, Learning and Development Advisor for H2I.
Quality Checkers have created their own recording template with support from the QA Manager and are responsible for speaking to and observing the young people in the home, staff working in the home and managers. In addition Quality Checkers will review the home conditions, cleanliness and presentation. There is an expectation that the Quality Checkers audit will last between 2-4 hours and their findings are shared with the home manager and Senior Managers via the QC Report and QA Manager feedback at Ops Meeting. Quality Checkers will make recommendations for managers where deemed necessary.
The long term objective of this service is to evidence young peoples voice and participation in the company as we grow and improve our service, and to ensure all our homes are offering the same level of care, support and opportunities to young people. This service supports our young people to build their confidence, their CV’s and work experience and give them a level of responsibility within the company as a whole rather than just their ‘home’. In accordance with safeguarding checks it is hoped that as young people move on and transition into adulthood they can return to complete audits drawing on their past experience and ‘what they know now’ as an adult to help us improve our service and how we support young people through transition to independence.
As H2I grows it is important that our children and young people support our mobilisation projects. All children and young people have the opportunity to work with Dave Beadnall, Head of Risk, Compliance and Mobilisation viewing potential properties, support with the selection of furniture, fixtures and equipment including visits to furniture providers as well as selecting floor and wall colours for new homes.
As new home managers are identified the children and young people can be involved in Neighbourhood Engagement Days and also ensure refurbishment and decoration projects are completed to a high standard.
From 2023 the group is supporting our Learning and Development Team as part of the initial training course. The group will be creating a short presentation for new starters and offering new starters the opportunity to meet with children and young people to discuss their tips and advice when starting work in our homes.
The children and young people will advise our new starters on tips for building relationships, how to prepare for their new role in the home, and what young people feel is most useful for them to know before starting. Wherever possible we include children and young people in our assessment days and by expanding this through to the ITC we can better support and prepare new starters and also give children and young people the opportunity to meet with any adults that may be coming to their home.