Care experienced children and young people in Lanarkshire are being invited to an event to share their views on health services.
The interactive event, titled ‘Your Health. Your Voice. You Matter’ has been organised to give care experienced children and young people the opportunity to chat, ask questions, get information and offer their opinions on health services in Lanarkshire.
Representatives from a broad range of health services have organised the event in collaboration with third sector organisations including Who Cares? Scotland and Barnardo’s with the involvement of a Lanarkshire young person’s advocacy group.
A care experienced person is someone who is or has been looked after by a local authority, whether at home with social work support, in kinship care with relatives or friends, in foster care or in residential accommodation.
Geraldine Queen, NHS Lanarkshire’s head of child & adult protection/child health commissioner, said: “Children and young people become looked after for many reasons.
“It can be the result of a chaotic family background, where they may have been exposed to substance misuse, domestic abuse, neglect and other issues from a very early age.
“The care system helps provide some support and stability which may not have been possible if they had remained outwith the care system.”
Despite this, evidence shows that young people in the care system are less likely to get a good education, more likely to be homeless, in prison, and with a mental health disorder.
Care experienced people can also be marginalised in society, stigmatised and find barriers to getting on in life that most other people do not.
Andrew Christie from the Young Participation steering group, which represents care experienced young people in North and South Lanarkshire, said: “These young people are often under-heard and an event like this is a fantastic opportunity for their voice to be heard.
“It will give the health services represented, a chance to tap into these young peoples’ experience to see how they can improve services for them.”
The event will include short talks and musical entertainment provided by care experienced people as well as food, entertainment and activities such as a cycle-powered smoothie machine and pedometer challenge.
It takes place at New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus), 1 Enterprise Way, on Wednesday 29 March from 4-7pm.
If you would like to attend, please contact Elizabeth Bell at: Elizabeth.Bell@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk or telephone 01236 703013.
You can also find out more at: www.youalright.co.uk