Children in care to have more of a say in their service

Charity will give independent advice and help

Merton Council has ensured that children and young people in its care will have a greater voice in key decisions that affect them.

Merton has commissioned Jigsaw, a local Children’s Voluntary Organisation, to deliver an Advocacy and independent visitor service for children in care and for those who are leaving care.

The service is independent of the council and its role is to ensure that children and young people have their say about the service they receive and decisions about their day-to-day care or about their future.

A member of staff from Jigsaw will be on hand to meet with children to ensure their views are heard and assist them in seeking a satisfactory resolution for issues they have raised.

This new service is among a range of developments in Children’s Services that are addressing the involvement of children in their individual care planning and the planning and creation of positive services that respond to their needs and make a real difference to their lives.

Councillor Maxi Martin, Cabinet Member for Primary Education and Children’s Services, said: ” The Council takes it’s role as a corporate parent very seriously, and this is a vital step in ensuring that those children and young people in the Council’s care feel they are offered the same life chances that every child should expect from their parents.

“I am really enthusiastic about the developments Merton is phasing in to enable children and young people in the Council’s care, and those leaving care, achieve the same opportunities as all children in Merton.”

The Advocacy and Independent Visitor Service was officially launched on 11 December at Merton Civic Centre.