Children’s Commissioner to set up digital hub for children in care
Long-term goal is for site to operate as a social enterprise run by young care-leavers
The Children’s Commissioner is to establish a digital hub for children in care and care-leavers.
The commissioner is seeking to build “a mobile-friendly digital platform featuring news, opportunities, and discounts for children in care or care leavers”. The site will also provide a “moderated platform [for users] to share their views, vote in polls and inspire and support their peers”. The site will be aimed at children and young people aged 13-25, the commissioner said.
Young people with experience of being in care will be heavily involved in designing the site and providing content.
“Through Children in Care Councils, there will be opportunities for young people to take on more in-depth roles in helping to support the hub,” said the commissioner. “This will provide pre-employability training and high quality, real work experience.”
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The commissioner is currently seeking a commercial partner to help design, host, and support the site. Potential providers have until 29 November to bid for a £24,000 contract that is scheduled to run until 31 March 2019.
The long-term goal is that the site will become a stand-alone entity run, as a social enterprise, by young care leavers.
“Children in care often lack the capacity to build the support networks and access the information that others take for granted,” the commissioner said. “Many children with care experience tell us that they miss out on opportunities and support, leaving them feeling left behind and ill-equipped to deal with the challenges they face.”
The commissioner added: “Digital platforms can provide children in care with easy access to relevant information, advice and support wherever they are and whenever they need it. Young people in care have also told us that they would like more access to training, discounts or events. However, there is currently no national place online for children in care that meets this need.”
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