Voypic Care Day

Care Day 2017

What's it all about?

The first ever Care Day NI, a day to celebrate children in care and care leavers. The day will also be celebrated in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Read our briefing paper which tells you all about the first ever Care Day NI #caredayni


The launch

On 22 October Seán Holland, Chief Social Work Officer from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety joined young people from VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care) at The MAC to launch Care Day NI and pledge his support.

Read the press release.


The Care Factor - VOYPIC rocks Belfast City Hall

Join us on 19 February in Belfast City Hall for a welcome reception, dinner and Rockaoke on Care Day.  To apply for tickets, contact Brenda on 028 9024 4888 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Download the flyer.

Watch VOYPIC staff sing Queen (badly!). Make sure it's you and ‪#‎PleaseNotThem‬ on stage.


Check out our Care Day Facebook page

We've set up a dedicated Care Day Facebook page.  Check it out - visit, like and find out more about Care Day NI #caredayni

If you are organising an event on the day, please complete the Sign Up form so we can tell others all about it.

In September 2014 VOYPIC and Youth Advocate Programmes (YAP) Ireland launched an exciting new pilot project that will add real value to work with children and young people across the island of Ireland. If you work with children and young people and want to quality assure that work from their perspective, then this is the opportunity for you.

VOYPIC became a member of the scheme for the first time in 2010 and is currently the only organisation in Northern Ireland to hold that membership.

What?

Investing in Children membership (IiC) is a simple assessment of what your organisation is doing to listen to children and young people who use your service.  It identifies and highlights what changes have come about because of listening to them which leads to an external accreditation by IiC.

The Membership Scheme recognises and celebrates imaginative and inclusive practice. Membership is awarded to organisations that can demonstrate a commitment to dialogue with children and young people that leads to change.

The pilot

This joint project will promote the participation of children and young people as partners in the design and delivery of services. During the pilot we plan to support 20 organisations to achieve membership of the scheme.

Want to find out more?

Organisations working with children and young people are invited to find out more about the membership scheme most local to them.  For more information on how you can join click here

Read more about Investing in Children.

Investing in Children Ireland

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advice

Hi there my name is Natasha, I wanted to share my story about living in care with you. I lived in foster care for approximately 9 months. I then moved to residential care and I stayed there until I was 17years old. I then moved into independent living with my sister.

When I lived in foster care I didn't get on with anyone in my foster placement and I was happy to move to residential care. Although when I was in foster care I had a good relationship with my social worker and she listened to me. When I was living in a children's home, I had good relationships with staff, some of my relationships with certain staff was better than others. The staff in the children's home provided me with good support and advice, although at times I didn't see this but as I have got older I can now see this. The staff helped me with a range of issues such as contact, education and personal issues. I liked the staff as they always ensured I was safe and being a teenager I didn't accept this at the time. As I am older, I can see now that the staff always wanted the best for me. Whilst in residential care I also made good friends and to this day I still have a close relationship with one of them. Although we don't see each other every day, we are always in contact.

I would encourage young people that are in care today to keep your head down, keep out of trouble, try to avoid peer pressure and listen to the advice being given by staff.

I would like to see in the next 21 years residential staff to be more aware of young people's behaviours and the triggers for their behaviours. For children's homes to only have 4 young people (maximum) at a time as I feel this is a better home for young people. This is based on my experience.

mark

My name is Mark Hannan. I am 32 years old and was in and out of care from when I was born until I went into independent living at 16 In total I spend almost 13 years in care. Once I left care I completed A’ Levels in Geography, English and Economics. After my A’ Levels I went to Queen’s University and got a degree in Management. I decided after university I wasn’t quite ready to get a job so I went travelling around Australia for a year. Once I finished travelling I came back to Belfast and did a PhD for almost four years in Entrepreneurship (which basically means I can call myself a Doctor but I am qualified to help no-one). After my PhD I got a job in London working for Shell, one of the big oil companies. I have lived in London for almost seven years now and I’m loving it! 

My positive experiences of living in care is I met some amazing social workers (and residential staff) who showed me a lot of kindness and showed me love where my own family didn’t. 

My message for children living in care today be is Dare to Dream, do not let your past define who you are. You can do anything you want, do not let anyone tell you you cannot do anything. Just be prepared to work hard and you can be a doctor, pop star, mechanic or social worker! But remember nothing in life is handed to you, you have to go out and get it. I hope and dream in the next 21 years children in care in are to be able to have a stable life, not the constant back and forth between care homes, foster parents or their families.

Allow children to live somewhere long enough to make friends and to feel secure. I would love it if all children in care felt that they can go to university, do apprentices or start work and that they have the necessary skills to do it. I would love it if there was a situation where the majority of children in care left with good GCSE grades rather than the minority. 

 

kayrns image

Hi my name is Karyn. I was first moved to a children’s home for a short period of three months. After the three month period I was placed in another children’s home. 

My first placement was a bit strange because I had never been in a children's home before and felt awkward and nervous. The staff were OK although I didn't get the best chance to get to know them. When I moved to my second placement I hated it at first. The decoration and building seemed old and it wasn't homely - it looked more like a residential unit for old people. The staff in were really friendly and made me feel welcome but still I didn't like it when I didn't get my own way and we rowed a lot. 

The opportunities when I was in care weren't great. I didn't get a chance to go on school trips or have access to internet to find things I could get involved in. We did get a holiday to Alton Towers which was great fun and brought us all together. I was encouraged to go to school and punishment was given if we didn't attend. Although this never gave me any motivation and I left school with only the three GCSEs, I put effort in. At the time I wasn't aware of how important this would be in my later life. When I turned 16 and left school I was told to get a job or keep studying and so I had to go to college to get the GCSEs I hadn't put any effort into. I really wish there had been someone there to encourage me more to do well in school and the reasoning for this. Then during my studies I had a baby which made studying harder. 

The support to complete the work if I found it difficult was great however not enough support in school was given to me by anyone. I am now doing a Community Youth Work degree and I’m due to finish this next year. Overall my relationships with staff were good although I didn't find it easy to trust anyone to begin with. 

For young people in care today I would really encourage them to really take notice of their education. I always take an interest in their education and ask them if they need any help with this. I feel that if someone had shown an interest in my education, I would have been quicker at getting to where I wanted to go. 

In 21 years from now I would like to see children's homes a lot smaller and have less staff. This would make it feel more like home and better outcomes for children may occur if there is more security. For each young person in care, I would assign someone that can help a young person with school work and short smart education goals to improve motivation. If interest in education is shown then young people who are in the care system may have better opportunities and useful grades 

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