Diversity

In document Looked-after children and young people (Page 43-49)

A disproportionate number of looked-after children and young people are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and have particular needs. Other looked-after children and young people also have particular needs, such as those seeking asylum and those who are gay or lesbian. Ensuring their needs are adequately met requires special attention and expertise to champion their rights. Strategic plans need to identify how appropriate services will be commissioned to ensure these looked-after children and young people are not marginalised.

Whose health and wellbeing will benefit?

The recommendations in this section aim to help looked-after children and young people who: are from black and minority ethnic communities

are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

are an unaccompanied asylum seeker with looked-after status are from travelling communities

belong to a faith group.

Recommendation 33 is about unaccompanied asylum seekers with looked-after status, and recommendation 34 is about black and minority ethnic children and young people.

Recommendation 26 Ensure everyone understands diversity issues

Who should take action?

Directors of children's services.

Senior staff with responsibility for commissioning and providing health services.

What action should they take?

Provide all professionals and managers with specialist training, resources and access to expertise to:

promote an organisational approach where diversity is considered in all day-to-day decision making, and is freely discussed by professionals with open debate encouraged

understand the complex issues affecting the looked-after children and young people identified at the beginning of this section, including discrimination and its impact, and, in particular, health, culture, identity, education and placement needs

identify and contact relevant support groups in the local community to reduce isolation for looked-after children and young people and provide positive avenues of support.

Recommendation 27 Share learning about diversity

Who should take action?

Directors of children's services.

What action should they take?

Consider setting up a multi-agency panel tailored to local needs to discuss particular requirements and placement choices for the looked-after children and young people

identified at the beginning of this section. This could be a priority in areas with low numbers of these looked-after children and young people as there may be a need to increase local knowledge.

Ensure that children and young people with particular needs are consulted about their experiences of services (see also recommendations 24 and 25).

Network and share good practice with other local authorities with a similar profile of looked- after children and young people.

Consider secondments of key staff to local authorities where good practice is recognised, and ensure that there are mentoring and co-working opportunities.

Ensure children-in-care councils include discussion of looked-after children with particular needs as a standing item on their agenda.

Recommendation 28 Appoint a diversity champion

Who should take action?

Director of children's services.

What action should they take?

Appoint a local diversity champion with strategic and leadership responsibilities to increase awareness of the needs of looked-after children and young people identified at the beginning of this section and act as an advocate on their behalf.

Ensure that the diversity champion reports to and is accountable to the director of children's services.

Ensure the diversity champion also reports to and engages with the children-in-care council to help define the particular needs of these children and young people.

Recommendation 29 Produce and use a diversity profile

Who should take action?

Senior staff with responsibility for commissioning health and children's services. Directors of public health.

What action should they take?

Produce a local diversity profile covering the looked-after children and young people identified at the beginning of this section.

Use the diversity profile when commissioning services to ensure services are relevant and meet specific needs (see also recommendation 5).

Use the diversity profile to develop and train the workforce to meet existing and anticipated needs (see also recommendations 35–38, 40 and 50–52).

Recommendation 30 Ensure there is a diverse range of placements

Who should take action?

Directors of children's services.

What action should they take?

Ensure the placement strategy in the area includes a sufficiently diverse range of

placements[10]

(see also recommendations 5, 15, 46 and 47).

If the diversity profile (see recommendation 26) indicates a more diverse range of placements is required (now or in the future) increase the number of foster carers accordingly.

Recommendation 31 Carry out core assessments

Who should take action?

Social workers and social work managers.

What action should they take?

Ensure that core assessments contain an accurate and comprehensive picture of the child or young person's needs relating to their cultural, religious and ethnic identity, and pay particular attention to race, sexual orientation, language, faith and diet (see also recommendations 8–11, 16, 20, 23, 24–25, 33, 34).

Ensure that the review of the care plan reflects the developing nature of the child or young person's cultural, religious and ethnic identity and sexual orientation and how these might change as a child or young person grows and matures.

Recommendation 32 Embed diversity in local plans

Who should take action?

Directors of children's services.

What action should they take?

Ensure that the particular needs of looked-after children and young people are clearly identified in local plans for health and wellbeing and that a delivery plan is in place to meet these needs that includes clear targets and outcomes.

Recommendation 33 Provide expertise relating to unaccompanied asylum-

seeking children and young people who are looked after

Whose health and wellbeing will benefit?

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people who are looked after.

Who should take action?

Social work managers. Providers of health services.

What action should they take?

Provide support and training to foster parents and residential staff to ensure they have a good understanding of the particular issues affecting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people who are looked after.

Ensure that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people who are looked after have access to:

peer group support and religious and community groups to reduce their sense of isolation and disorientation in a foreign country

interpreters if their knowledge of English is limited, so they can explain their situation and make their needs known.

Ensure all professionals in services that work with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people who are looked after have a good understanding of cultural differences in attitudes to and beliefs about physical and mental health or wellbeing (see also

recommendations 8–11, 46–49, 50–52).

Recommendation 34 Provide expertise relating to black and minority ethnic

children and young people

Whose health and wellbeing will benefit?

Black and minority ethnic looked-after children and young people. Looked-after children and young people of multiple heritage.

Who should take action?

Directors of children's services.

Senior staff with responsibility for commissioning and providing health services.

What action should they take?

Provide all practitioners and managers with specialist training, resources, and access to expertise to:

understand the complexity of racism for looked-after black and minority ethnic children and young people, including those of multiple heritage, and its impact on their ability to enhance their life chances and lead settled lives (see also recommendations 8–11, 46–49, 50–52) create links with community support groups to reduce isolation and provide continuity of cultural experience to reinforce a stronger sense of identity

ensure that black and minority ethnic looked-after children and young people have access to interpreters if their knowledge of English is limited so they can explain their situation and make their needs known.

In document Looked-after children and young people (Page 43-49)