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The Voice & Influence Service

The Voice & Influence Service works to give children and young people an opportunity to have their voice heard and to influence the decisions that affect them. Plus they organise a lot of fun events.

If you’re in care or a care leaver, the Voice & Influence Service will work closely with you to better understand your experiences of being in the care system and to come up with ideas about how to improve services for you.

They also run events throughout the year like an annual fun day in August and a celebration event in October. 

Alongside the fun stuff, the Voice & Influence Service also gives young people the opportunity to speak directly to managers in social services and give their views to improve things, such as how social workers do their jobs. They also help young people get involved in recruiting social workers.

The Voice & Influence Service works closely to support the Children in Care Council (CiCC). 

They always wants to hear you about what’s on your mind.

Paul Mitchell
Voice & Influence Service Manager
Phone: 020 8496 6895
Mobile: 07891 957365
Email: paul.mitchell@walthamforest.gov.uk

David Reece
Voice & Influence Service Participation Officer
Phone: 020 8496 6874
Mobile: 07891 957365
Email: david.reece@walthamforest.gov.uk

General email: voiceandinfluence@walthamforest.gov.uk

What’s The Children in Care Council (CiCC)?

The Children in Care Council (CiCC) is a group of children in care and care leavers who meet regularly to discuss important issues about care. They make sure the views of children and young people have influence over the way care services are run.

If you’re interested, you can join the CiCC. Being a member gives you the opportunity to meet other children in care, learn new skills and do fun stuff like going on trips. In the last year, the children and young people in the CiCC have been on trips to Thorpe Park, bowling, go-karting and a residential activity weekend.

If you’re interested in joining the CiCC, or to find out when the next CICC meeting is taking place, please call 0208 4966874 or email voiceandinfluence@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Children’s rights and advocacy

Advocacy is about helping you to speak out about what is important to you. An advocate can help you to have your say and be listened to when decisions are being made about you. They are completely separate from Children’s Services, as they work for you. Advocates will listen to you and help you to put your views and wishes across.

CoramVoice are currently providing the advocacy service for Waltham Forest. 

An advocate can:

  • give you information and advice so you understand your rights
  • speak to those who are making decisions about you, like social workers, to help make sure that you’re involved in any plans being made about you
  • make sure you understand what people are saying
  • help you to make a complaint

How do I get an advocate?

You can contact CoramVoice on 0808 800 5792 or email help@coramvoice.org.uk 

Their helpline is open every weekday from 9.30am to 6.00pm, with an answerphone at other times.

Independent visitors

Independent visitors are ordinary people who are not social workers and are not part of Children’s Services. If you’re a child in care and feel you’d like to have a friendship with an adult who is outside the care system and independent visitor might be for you.

They aren’t paid and give their time because they enjoy the company of young people. 

CoramVoice are currently providing the independent visitor service for Waltham Forest.

You and your visitor will decide together what you would like to talk about and what you would like to do... whatever you enjoy.

Your independent visitors will support you, listen to you and be your friend. You can ask your visitor to go to your reviews or other meeting to support you.

How do I ask for an independent visitor?

Ask your social worker to contact CoramVoice and they will find an independent visitor for you.

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