The Children in Care Council (CICC)

The Children in Care Council (CICC)

The East Sussex Children in Care Council started in 2008 and is a group of young people aged between 13 and 19 in care and living in East Sussex. They meet regularly to have their say on issues that matter to looked after children.

They serve as CICC members for 3 years.

What exactly does the CICC do?

Their role is to try to help improve the lives of children in care by letting those in charge know what life in care is really like. To do this they meet with senior managers and adults working with looked after children to put forward their views and the views of others in care to make positive changes to the care system.

They meet with Council leaders and heads of Children’s Services from East Sussex County Council to put forward their views, and are often part of interview panels for new staff recruitment.

They also attend events and meetings in London, this is so they have an understanding of what is going on in the rest of the country in the care system and what the Government are doing that involves looked after children’s lives. They get to meet up with other children all over the country to discuss ideas and issues.

Some projects the CICC have been involved in recently are

  • producing a newsletter with news and articles about their work
  • holding sessions to talk to more looked after children
  • starting a buddy scheme to support children newly into care
  • being part of a school inspectors project looking at mental health provision in schools
  • providing rucksacks full of new items for children coming into care for the first time
  • interviewing newly qualified social workers for jobs in East Sussex
  • learning more about how to be safe online and becoming digital ambassadors
  • reviewing the language that is often used in the care system.
  • facilitating lectures at Brighton University for Social Work students

Freebies and resources

The free resources below are available to any looked after child living in care from East Sussex.

Please email cicc@eastsussex.gov.uk if you would like something posted to you.

  • CICC newsletters
  • Playing cards – These explain some of your rights as a looked after child in East Sussex

IMO Hub

Check out this website especially for children in care. It has been developed by the Children’s Commissioners office in London and has some really great stories and life hacks. The CICC were involved in the designing of this right from the start.

Videos

This is a short film made by members of a previous CICC to address the myths of being a Child in Care. We hope it will help to raise awareness to those not in care as well as those working with them and explain what being in care means to them.

This is Us (5:17 minutes)



Things you don’t say to people in care

View the Instagram video

(3:41 minutes)


Our 2021-22 Pledge for Looked after Children

These are our promises to all children in care and to young people moving on from care to adult life:

Everyone needs to feel safe and secure

  • We will help find you the best place to live, where you feel safe, cared for and treated well, for as long as you need

We will:

  • listen and take your views seriously
  • ensure children with disabilities receive support that takes their individual needs into account
  • tell you about the place where you may live and, if possible, show it to you
  • expect you to be treated fairly as part of a family, or in a placement, where you feel comfortable
  • respect you for who you are
  • make sure you have a bank account to help your savings grow
  • help you follow your own religion

Everyone should have someone to talk to

You will have your own social worker and Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who will get to know you well, keep in touch and listen to what you say.

They will:

  • Ask you who you want at your ‘My Voice Matters’ meeting (previously named LAC review) and send you a personal letter afterwards explaining what was discussed
  • Involve you in all decisions affecting you
  • Give you their phone number
  • See you by yourself sometimes
  • Explain why you are in care and be there for you to talk about any worries or problems
  • Be on time for meetings
  • Tell you how to complain or get an advocate

Staying in touch

We will help you stay in touch with your family and friends if you want, as long as it is safe.

We will:

  • ask how often you want to see your family
  • ask you how and where you want your contact to happen
  • try to keep you living with your brothers and sisters and make sure you see each other check regularly that we’ve got it right for you
  • make sure your social worker explains why sometimes you can’t see your family as often as you should like

Everyone has talent

We will encourage you to have fun with your interests and hobbies.

We will:

  • encourage you to try out new activities
  • value your strengths, gifts and talents
  • expect your carers to help you take part in fun activities every week
  • encourage you to volunteer in your community when you are old enough
  • celebrate your achievements

Everyone deserves a good education

We will help you get the best education training and career.

We will:

  • make sure you get a place at the best school or college
  • keep you at the same school if that is best for your education
  • arrange meetings that don’t involve you coming out of lessons
  • expect your carers to support you with your education and homework
  • make a personal education plan with you so you get extra support if you need it
  • support you emotionally and financially onto independence, further education or university

Staying healthy

We will support you to stay fit and healthy and will:

  • encourage you to eat healthily
  • make sure you have regular health and dental check ups
  • have access to a looked after children’s nurse who you can speak to you by yourself about any health worries or questions you may have.
  • encourage you to take regular exercise doing something you enjoy

Support your mental health and wellbeing

We all need a bit of help sometimes, mental health problems are really common and can happen to everyone. You do not ever have to cope on your own. We will:

  • take your feelings and worries seriously and find the right people to help you
  • help you talk to someone you trust
  • understand that your emotional needs can be complex and different to other peoples.
  • explain how counselling can help you understand your thoughts and feelings better

We want to hear from you

Although we get to do all these amazing things, we still need to hear your views and ideas too, so that we can pass them onto the people who make the decisions to help us shape and develop the way we are all cared for. There are over 600 young people in care in East Sussex and everyone’s ideas are important – so please tell us what you think.

If you are in any sort of foster or residential care, you can get in touch with the CICC about anything in your life that you’d like to speak out about such as:

  • a problem you have with contact with your family
  • your education
  • your social worker
  • where you live
  • an idea you have to help other children in care.

The CICC can support you to talk about whatever issue you want, and can put you in touch with other people who can help. We would love to hear about anything you have to say.

Contact us

Children in Care Council
4th Floor
St Mark's House, 14 Upperton Road
Eastbourne
East Sussex BN21 1EP


Telephone: 01323 463 143
Call or text Meshelle Carmody, CICC coordinator
Telephone: 0792 059 1138

Email: cicc@eastsussex.gov.uk