VMC Children in Care Council

VMC Children in Care Council

Voices Making Choices (VMC) are Northumberland’s Children in Care Council.

All local authorities are expected to make arrangements to set up a children in care council to ‘give children in care a forum to express their views and influence the services and support they receive…’ (Care Matters: A Time for Change, DCSF, 2007)
Northumberland’s Children in Care Council was set up in 2009 and they have called themselves Voices Making Choices.

Who are we?

VMC is made up of young people aged eight to 22 who have various experiences of the care system.

They are from different backgrounds and have different experiences including:
  • residential homes
  • foster care
  • some have disabilities
  • some are from families who foster children
  • 14 + service.
VMC meet every four weeks and managers and councillors come to their meetings to discuss issues and get their views. We also meet at other times to work on projects together.

If you as young people have any issues you would like VMC to take up for you, please contact VMC by emailing voicesmakingchoices@northumberland.gov.uk or you can call Saira Park on 01670 623980. 

Care Matters

The government wants to make things better for young people in care and to have a bigger say in what happens to them. They wrote about their ideas to make things better for young people in care in a booklet called "Care Matters: transforming the lives of children and young people in care".

They asked young people and people who work with them what they thought about our ideas and then made plans to make things better for young people in care. They picked seven main things which would help make things better for young people in care:
  • More help for families that are having problems.
  • Good, settled care in a place that is right for the young person in care.
  • Places in schools that will help them to do their best.
  • More support out of school to help them to do well.
  • Giving young people a say about when they move out of care, and what support they need.
  • Listening to what young people say they need.
  • Making sure every young person in care has one adult they can always go and talk to. This could be a carer or a social worker.
For more information about what the government will do to make sure these seven things happen, click here.

How to get involved

You can contact staff who support VMC by calling 01670 623980 or texting 07917 266278 or you can email:

Saira Park (participation & advocacy officer) Saira.Park@northumberland.gov.uk

Paul Kirkpatrcik (participation & programmes manager) Paul.Kirkpatrick@northumberland.gov.uk