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Realising the potential of Children in Care

Conference: Making a Difference for UASC - June 2018

Posted on by Judy Molyneux

On Thursday the 28th June, Kent welcomed representatives from other Local Authorities across England to hear how they could make a difference for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Young People. Utilising Kent’s experience with the young people, we aimed to share and focus our minds towards achieving excellent placement, educational and well-being outcomes and community integration.

For the 150 delegates, the day started with welcomes from Roger Gough, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Education and Sarah Hammond, Director for Specialist Children’s Service. A young person from Kent then set the day with his lively and passionate speech expressing his thanks to his Social Worker for helping him with his achievements. Other key notes speakers included Tony Doran from VSK, Tracy Smith from Strategic and Corporate Services and Nick Crick UASC Manager. Our Corporate Director for Children, Young People & Education, Matt Dunkley shared the agenda for the day which included several workshops covering Fostering, Social Care, IRO, Pre-16 and Post 16 Education, Health, Placements & Accommodation and Community Engagement & Assessments. The attendees also received a presentation from Nick Wilkinson, Prevent and Chanel Strategic Manager following by a thought provoking presentation from our young people sharing their experiences and how we can all improve our services.

Representatives from organisations supporting UASC also attended and ran a market place for the attendees. Representatives included KRAN, Kent Kindness, Asphaelia, Red Cross, Refugee Council and Invicta Law.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Kent, the venue exceeded my expectations and most importantly so did the presentations. Kent have done a brilliant job which I hope we can emulate.>

A very well organised event with excellent use of young people / care leavers.>

The Market Place stalls were very helpful. Especially having legal representatives there to ask questions. I also liked the participation organisations that were there and found what they were doing in Kent inspiring so will try and replicate.>

I enjoyed the openness and keenness to work together. I think you had a great balance. Probably the best that I have attended.>

Hearing from the young people is so powerful. Excellent day – thank you so much.>