Stuff I need to know

Stuff I need to know

Here are some useful things we think you should know: 

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is about helping you get your voice heard.

What is an advocate?

An advocate is somebody who listens to your point of view and can help you in situations when you don’t feel able to say what you think.
It can be someone who you know and trust and feel comfortable with to help you say what you think. 

What is the role of a child advocate?

Our Advocates can:
• Communicate the wishes and feelings of a child or young person
• Attend decision making meetings with the Local Authority or school
• Uphold their legal rights and human rights, ensuring that they are fairly treated
• Easily explain information or processes that are happening 
• Assist them in making a complaint
• Signpost to relevant services and ask questions to the relevant person on the child or young person’s behalf. 

How can I get an advocate?

You can ask your social worker, your IRO or your foster carer to help you get an advocate or you can you can contact the advocacy service by emailing. 

What is an Independent Visitor?

An Independent Visitor is independent person from your social worker or care home. Your Independent Visitor will visit you on a regular basis and be a source of support when you need it.
An Independent Visitor is interested in you and you only. They will help and guide you during your time in care and be someone you can trust and talk to.

What does an Independent Visitor do? 

An Independent Visitor is just like any other friend, except they are a responsible adult! 
You can ask your Independent Visitor to help you with anything or talk to them about what’s on your mind.
Independent Visitors are people with real life experiences and can be very interesting people to talk to. Sometimes we call them ‘role models’ because they can inspire and motivate you.

They are not paid to spend time with you, they are there because they want to be.

How can I request an Independent Visitor? 

If you would like an Independent Visitor, you can either: 
• Ask your carer. 
• Ask your social worker. 
• Call the Independent Visitors Scheme Coordinator (Sue Wakefield on 07919 306 375). 

After this, the Scheme Coordinator will contact you to tell you more about having an Independent Visitor. You can choose what type of person you would like to be your Independent Visitor, and the Scheme Coordinator. 

Getting involved in interviews

At the Trust we need young people with experience of care to help us find the right social workers for Doncaster. 

This could involve an hour of your time, or an afternoon as we would like you to sit in on the interviews, ask the important questions and give your views on who you think is best for the job afterwards. 

Don’t worry you won’t be alone during this process, you will have a friendly face with you at all times to support you at every step. 

If you are interested in getting involved or want to find out more email HearMe@dcstrust.co.uk 

Education 

Information to be added.

What is a Personal Education Plan (PEP) 

All looked after children have a Personal Education Plan which sets out short-term and long-term goals for your education, plans for the future (including your plans for your future career and your personal aims) and how your teachers, carer, social worker can help you meet your goals.

Your Looked After Child Review

https://www.doncasterchildrenstrust.co.uk/how-we-work-you/looked-after-children-reviews

More information to follow. 

Pathway to Progression

Pathways to Progression is a new programme to support young people in Doncaster to realise their potential and help them understand the steps to take to achieve their chosen career.
The team work with people who are:
•    Age 16 - 18 year old
•    Live in Doncaster
•    Not in education, employment or training

If you would like to know more, visit www.doncasterchildrenstrust.co.uk/p2p 

What is a health assessment?

Your looked after child health team are here to help you stay healthy. 

A health assessment is a regular check-up that all looked after children must have every year. Children under five years old have two assessment each year. 

 

Information to know outside of the Trust: 

Staying healthy

Alcohol, tobacco, illicit drug use and sexual risk taking are among the major problems affecting the health and wellbeing of young adults in England.

Advice for young people

Alcohol:

  • it is recommended that you don’t drink at all if under the age of 15, as this is harmful
  • the best advice is not to drink alcohol until you’re 18
  • if you do choose to drink before then, remember to make sure you’re with a responsible adult who will stop you doing anything that could be dangerous

Drugs:

  • there are always risks involved taking any kind of drug
  • even taking prescribed drugs from your doctor or bought in shops can have side effects which should be explained to you
  • illegal drugs may be mixed with other substances and you never know exactly how they will affect you
  • if you are unsure or worried about anything, you might feel better to talk to someone about it

More information on drugs and alcohol: 

Smoking:

  • if you don't smoke but are thinking of starting then please don’t: smoking causes too much damage to your health not to mention the fact that it shortens your life expectancy
  • if you are currently smoking then the best advice is to quit - we know that this is a hard thing to do as smoking is extremely addictive - it can often take more than one attempt to do so but those who do give up are thankful that they did

Get some help to quit smoking by:

Sexual activity:

  • many young people engage in unprotected sex that can result in unintended health outcomes
  • sexual risk behaviours can place young people at risk of unintended pregnancies, HIV infection, other Sexually Transmitted Diseases such Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis 

For further information on any of the above areas please visit:

Useful links:

Having trouble sleeping?

We all have problems with sleeping, waking, or having bad dreams sometimes. If sleep issues are affecting you, Young Minds has some insight that can help you tackle them. 

Tips to help you sleep

  • Rather than looking at a phone until you're tired, relax by reading a book, writing a journal entry or listening to music.
  • Put a soft blanket on top of your mattress as this can help you relax. You could try and wrap yourself up in the duvet as this can help with sensory issues.
  • Listen to relaxing music, trying to stick to a time to go to bed and get up, smells you associate with calmness, limiting screen exposure and a notebook to jot down any worries.
  • Give yourself time to wind down before bed. Try to do something relaxing or boring so that you'll feel tired.
  • Reduce the amount of time on your phone right up until you sleep, it’s a good idea to download a blue light filter.

Getting help

Chat to your GP if your sleep problems continue for a long time, things you try at home are not helping, or if you are worried about an emotional or physical problem. Severe sleep problems can be a sign of depression. Young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also have problems with sleep. 

Feeling unhappy/worried? 

Depression does not only affect adults. Children and young people can get depressed too.

It's important to get help early if you think your child may be depressed. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is to disrupt your child's life and turn into a long-term problem.

If you think you are depressed, or you're concerned about your general wellbeing, make an appointment to see a GP.

If necessary, the GP can refer your child to a local children and young people's mental health service (CYPMHS) for specialist help.

CYPMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their mental health or wellbeing.

You may also be able to refer you without seeing a GP.

Read more about accessing mental health services here.

Staying Safe

How you can keep yourself and your friends safe:

  • Do not talk to strangers
  • Walk to and from school in groups
  • Never accept rides from strangers
  • Do not take gifts from people you don’t know
  • Tell someone you trust if someone is making you feel uncomfortable
  • Report all suspicious behaviour and ‘new adult friends’ to parents/carers
  • Walk to and from school in groups
  • Never leave home without telling your parents/carers where you are going
  • Shout loudly if someone is asking you do something you’re not happy about
  • Never take shortcuts. Always stick to routes selected by parents/carers, and stay on main roads
  • If you go out with your friends make sure you stay together, even if you fall out

Keeping yourself and your friends safe is really important. We can help if:

  • You need advice or need to talk to someone
  • If you are being mistreated or abused by someone and you’re not sure what to do
  • You think another child/young person is being mistreated or abused

All you need to do is let us know, using the following form: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/Eforms/AnonSimpleEform/Index/2370100

Online Safety

The internet can be fun and a great way to chat, listen to music, and share images or media. But remember to be smart and stay safe!

Keep personal information like your mobile number and your address to yourself. Also make sure to never tell anybody your passwords or any other information you aren’t comfortable sharing. Not all people you meet online are real or honest.

It is important to remember that if you publish a picture or video, anyone can change or share it, and it might be difficult to delete later.

Remember, you can block people you don’t know on social media and messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook messenger.

If you find anything that makes you uncomfortable online, tell an adult you trust like a parent or teacher.

For more information on how to stay safe online, check out the following websites:

Bullying

Bullying won’t stop unless you tell someone who can help.

Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it.

We all know that bullying goes on in and out of school, and parents, carers, teachers and other professionals have a duty to take action is they suspect or discover that children are being bullied.

Bullying includes:

  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Cyberbullying
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls

Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them

If you think you are you being bullied or that you know someone who is:

  • Talk to your parent or adult in your family
  • Talk to a Teacher, adult family friend or neighbour

Get Advice on website like Safety Net and Bullying UK

LGBTQ+

Doncaster LGBTQ+ is the town’s leading partnership advocating for and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  young people and beyond. We envision a world in which all LGBTQ+ children, young people and families enjoy the freedom to live safely, openly, and be true to themselves.

The following links and resources will help and support anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+.

Our dedicated Facebook page: You can contact us directly for support and find out about our weekly support group

For other help and support resources please visit:

Doncaster school nurse   

Our Doncaster school nursing team is a group of experienced qualified nurses and support workers who support young people aged 5-19 years and their families to stay healthy.

We work in partnership with other health service and education providers, and other wider social care and voluntary services for children young people and families.

Project3

Project 3 works with young people aged 18 years and under who need advice information, help, support and intervention.

Stonewall 

We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone.

Outyouth 

Out Youth offers youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities a place where they are loved, acknowledged, and accepted for exactly who they are.

Mermaidsuk 

Mermaids supports transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care.

Proud trust 

The Proud Trust is a life saving and life enhancing organisation that helps LGBTQ+ young people empower themselves, to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities. We do this through youth groups, coordinating national and regional LGBTQ+ youth work networks, managing the LGBTQ+ Centre for Manchester, delivering of training, running events and campaigns, undertaking research and creating resources.

Tell us your views 

Don’t forget if you’ve got any questions you can get in touch with us by emailing HearMe@dcstrust.co.uk

Got a question you want to ask the team.

Get in touch with us by emailing HearMe@dcstrust.co.uk

(Please note emails to this inbox are monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

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