It’s Carers Week this week and to celebrate there are lots of exciting things happening across Scotland.
In Edinburgh a group of young carers, with help from Edinburgh Young Carers Project, created a fantastic art trail across the city.
The trail includes loads of great artwork including street art, poetry and sculpture. If you want to follow the trail, you’ve got until Friday 12th June. If you want to have a closer look find the route here.
Over the bridge, Fife Young Carers launched a film to highlight some of the ways that being a young carer can affect your life. It also explains the help and support Fife Young Carers project can provide. Click to watch the film.
WELL DONE to all the young people involved. Brilliant work!
An organisation called The Fostering Network have looked at how many times teenagers who live with foster carers (carers who are not family members) are moved around.
The findings show that teenagers move from foster family to foster family quite a lot. (40% of teenagers are already with their third family). Some teenagers have been with more than six families. It’s a problem for younger children in foster care too.
Moving between foster families can be upsetting and can make going to school really hard especially if you are worried about where you are going to stay or have to move schools. It can be hard to keep up with school work but also keep in touch with your friends and family.
Enquire has a guide for young people who are looked after which explains your rights to support in school if you need it. It explains what type of support you might get and what to do if you think you need a bit of extra help.
If somebody in your family drinks a lot, it can make things hard at home but it can also affect how you get on at school. It can be really difficult to concentrate in class if you’re worried about what’s happening at home. It can be tough to get homework done if you have to look after younger members of your family or if people are fighting.
There is now a new website for young people who are affected by somebody else’s drinking. It’s called A.D. A. M (it stands for Another’s Drinking Affects Me) and it has loads of helpful advice and stories from young people who’ve gone through the same thing. For example, Amy shares her story about how her dad’s drinking affected her:
“When my Dad got drunk I would get scared and when he didn’t come home, I would worry something really bad would happen. One day at school I just broke down. I ended up speaking to a teacher about what happened at home.”
A.D.A.M. has lots of helpful tips about things you can do that might help and places you can go to for help and support.
There is an exciting opportunity for two Creative & Digital Media Modern Apprentices to join the NHS Public Health and Business Unit. Successful candidates will be based in NHS offices in Edinburgh or Glasgow. Starting salary is £15,714.
This Modern Apprenticeship is made up of two parts. Firstly, it is a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ Level 3 or SCQF Level 7) and secondly, you will gain the opportunity to work on many Creative & Digital Media functions whilst working as an apprentice. The apprenticeship is for one year and in that time you will receive a detailed training programme supported by Glasgow Kelvin College and Young Scot, mentor support and encouragement so that you will have the foundations of a worthwhile and rewarding digital career.
For an informal discussion or further information on the programme, please contact Clare Harper on 0131 275 6392. For an application pack please contact NSS.WFRS@nhs.net
Sometimes if you’re struggling to go or stay in school, are having a difficult time at home or people are worried about your wellbeing or safety, you might be asked to go to a Children’s Hearing. This is a legal meeting that children and young people can be asked to go to with their families or carers to help them with their problems. If you’ve never been to one it’s normal to be a bit worried about attending and talking to people you don’t know.
The people who run Children’s Hearings want to make them as easy for children and young people as possible. With the help of some young people they have produced a video to explain what will happen before and at a hearing. Have a look by clicking on the picture below:
There’s also lots of useful information for children and young people on the Children’s Hearing Scotland websit
Who are the best people to make things easy to understand and interesting to other children and young people. We think the answer is easy! Children and young people themselves!
So we are VERY excited to be part of Get Live: Getting together to get it right, an event all about finding the best ways to share important information about health and wellbeing with children and young people. Anybody who’d like to share their ideas is welcome and there will be lots of support available on the day. It’s important children with additional support needs get involved so their views are heard too!
So if you are aged between 8 and 11 and you like sharing your ideas, having fun, and learning stuff, click on the flyer to find out more and then talk to a teacher, youth worker or parent about coming along. They can then contact Cat Thomson at Children in Scotland on 0131 313 8803 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out all the details.
If this sounds right up your street but you’re older (aged between 12 and 18) get in touch with Young Scot on email@example.com who are organising the event for young people.
We were really lucky at our annual conference this year to have a group of Park Mains High School pupils helping us capture the buzz, the chat and the inspiring presentations on film.
Working with Media Education, Robyn, Myren, Kaleigh, Ross, Rhys, and Robyn J, spent the conference filming, interviewing speakers and delegates and generally working their socks off to capture the best bits of the day.
Here’s the final film. We hope you like it – we think it’s brilliant!
The Scottish Commissioner for Children and People have produced an updated leaflet all about young people’s rights.
Definitely worth checking out!
Enquire recently met 17 year old Dionne McFarlane, a young person from Edinburgh on a mission! Dionne very kindly agreed to write a blog post telling us about some of the work she has been doing around Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
Dionne meets Aileen Campbell MSP
“My name is Dionne McFarlane and I’m the GIRFEC Ambassador for Edinburgh. I was given this role back in 2014 and I have to say I’m enjoying every minute of it and loving the opportunities I’ve been given.”
So what is GIRFEC?
“GIRFEC stands for Getting It Right For Every Child and is an approach that ensures that help and support is available to a child or young person and their family if any difficulties were to arise. The approach aims to make sure that anyone providing support puts the child or young person and their families at the centre. It’s important that children and young people are at the heart of decision making. GIRFEC also looks at the child or young person’s wellbeing by considering eight indicators – Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurtured, Achieving, Respected, Responsible, Included (this is often remembered as SHANARRI). We must remember that these words can mean different things to each child and young person and their wellbeing. These indicators can give adults that support children and young people an indication into what’s going well for that young person but also where there might be concerns and help them get a child or young person back on track. I feel it’s important that children and young people are aware of GIRFEC because it’s an approach that’s there to help and support them and I feel that it’s important that they have a say in their life and I believe that having a choice is crucial.”
How I became a GIRFEC Young Ambassador
Dionne meets staff from Dundee’s Integrated Children’s Services
“I got involved with the work of GIRFEC after I was one of the winners from Edinburgh in the Scottish Government Wellbeing Competition. I decided to carry on with the work because I wanted to be able to let other children and young people know that “asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of and that its ok to ask for support whenever you require it.” By using my own personal experiences I hope to be able to reach out to other children and young people. My aims over the next few years is to ensure that my opinions and the opinions of other young people are heard by professionals who are working in children’s services and other organisations.
Through the work I’ve been doing and also through my own personal experience I’ve seen just how dedicated and committed adults are in supporting children and young people through difficulties. Some adults go above and beyond in helping young people and I can honestly say that I have a lot of respect for adults who are like that. Through GIRFEC I’ve learned that you have choice on who you can talk to about any problems or difficulties you are experiencing for example if a guidance teacher isn’t available you can talk to your deputy head or another adult. Whoever you talk to they will be able to provide help and support.”
What advice would I give other young people?
“If I had to give a child or young person with additional support needs a piece of advice that would be to not be afraid to speak out about difficulties and if you have one adult you feel you can talk to approach them and talk to them. I understand that for some young people asking for help can be daunting I once asked for help and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I know that my struggles don’t define me as a person. My struggles made me a much stronger and overall better person.”
What’s great about living in Scotland is that if you need extra help in school, for any reason, there is a law to make sure that you get the support you need – it’s called the Additional Support for Learning Act (it’s usually just called the ASL Act).
The ASL Act gives your parents or carers rights to ask your school or local authority to look at what your needs are and provide support that helps you get the most from school. It also makes sure that people listen to what you and your parents think. If you’re over 16 you have the same rights as your parents or carers under the ASL Act (as long as you are able to give your views, take part in decisions and understand what they might mean to you in school).
At the moment the Scottish Government is thinking about giving the same rights from the ASL Act to children over 12. This would be things like asking for an assessment of your needs and making an appeal to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland. The Scottish Government is also looking at what type of advice and information children might need to make the most of these rights. Their idea is to have a Children’s Support Service which would help you understand your rights and share your views.
So what happens next???
The Scottish Government has listened to lots of children, parents, carers and professionals about what they think and over the next few months will be listening to more experts about whether it’s a good idea. Once this has happened they will make a decision and will create a new law which means that schools and local authorities will have to make sure children know their rights, what they mean and how to use them.
We’ll keep you posted about what’s happening but if you want to know more get in touch with Enquire’s helpline on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0845 123 2303. If you want to find out more about what your rights are at the moment have a look at some of our young people’s guides.