Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day in Gloucestershire
On Friday 11th November, just over 150 young people took part in 'Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day''. This was the first co-ordinated approach to the day by Gloucestershire County Council
It was a real opportunity for young people to take over specific jobs and find out what the jobs are about, and for adults to engage with young people and find out their views and perspective of services. Organisations and services were able to get direct feedback and opinions from young people.
Over 90 jobs were offered to young people. Young people were able to find out about these jobs on the web pages and apply for the jobs they were interested in stating their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.
Following the application process, over 100 young people, aged between 10 and 20, took part in Job Takeover, including 15 Looked After Children (LAC)/Care leavers and young people who had recently returned home.
Jobs that were offered included various jobs within Gloucestershire County Council, Borough and District Councils, NHS Glos, and local businesses/services.
Jobs that were taken over included;
- Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council
- Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police
- MP for Stroud and MP for Cheltenham
- Deputy Leader of the County Council
- Cabinet Member for long term support
- Editor for Citizen and Echo
- Gloucester City Police posts and local PCSO's
- Fire and Rescue posts
Three primary schools and one special school organised their own 'Takeover Day' which pupils taking over a variety of jobs within the school.
Examples of jobs that were taken over by LAC are the Deputy Leader of the County Council and the Sports and Play Development Officer for Cheltenham Borough Council. The young people with the Deputy Leader gave their ideas and advised on the publicity material for Barnardos who have the contract for the new Advocacy Service. The young people in Cheltenham Borough Council worked on developing ideas for community events/projects to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and get more young people excited about taking part in sport.
Two young people also spent the day with the Tewkesbury Children and Families Team and the Tewkesbury Localities Team Manager, which inspired one of the young people to go into Social Work as a career.
Share the Challenge
Some services used the opportunity of Takeover Day to 'share a challenge' with young people.
Each Localities Team facilitated a consultation with young people in a local school in their area, finding out views about giving feedback on services with the aim of developing further feedback mechanisms for Children and Young People in Localities.
The Children's Emotional and Wellbeing Service (formerly CAMHS) brought service users and Board members together in the morning to discuss the participation of young people in the service, and in the afternoon a group of YP performed a drama around mental health issues at Gloucester City Museum.
Outcomes for young people taking part in Takeover Day
There were a number of outcomes for young people You can read some quotes from the young people by looking at Appendix A in the downloads section below.
- Had the opportunity to express their views on services and give a fresh perspective and perception
- Gave their views on specific issues facing some CYP
- Challenged services to do things differently
- Found out about specific jobs and different types of work
- Gained an insight into the Council and how it works
- Influenced services and made some decisions about particular issues.
- Gained more knowledge
- Inspired to undertake a specific career
Outcomes for Adults/Services
You can read some quotes from adults and services by looking at Appendix B in the downloads section below.
- Gained young people's perspective and perception of Services
- Received ideas on what works with YP
- YP had a positive influence on project ideas, planning and future policy
- Opportunity to enthuse YP about job
- Prompted to reflect on the impact of the service and to think about the community
- Challenged to think of different ways of doing job
- Reviewed resources aimed at YP
- Staff reminded to speak in clear language with YP and other colleagues
- Reminded adults that CYP are their customers