Hearing views of children in care

Skittlz is the borough’s Youth Council for children and young people in care and care leavers.

Who is Skittlz for? 

Skittlz is the borough’s Youth Council for children and young people in care and care leavers. We deliver groups for two age groups: 8- 13 years and 14-25 years but children and young people can join the group which is most suited to their needs and abilities. We can discuss this with the young person.

Sessions are run by 2 experienced youth workers and are very informal and relaxed. 

Have your say!

Skittlz offers children and young people the opportunity to have their say about the services they experience throughout their care journey. Skittlz members are asked to share their views about positive aspects of care and those that are negative or more challenging. Only through sharing their lived experience can services be tailored to best suit the needs of care experienced young people. 

Feed into our Members Corporate Parenting Group

Skittlz members are offered the opportunity to feed into Members Corporate Parenting Group meetings every 2 months. At these meetings they will speak to Councillors, Directors and Service Managers who are all key decision makers in their care journey. Young people choose the topics to focus on and prepare their own feedback and actions they would like the professionals to take away. Regular feedback is given to young people about the things that are changing and how things are improving. 

Younger Skittlz sessions (8-13 years)

The younger group meet online once a month for an hour. We send out an activity for the children to do while we all chat and catch up with each other. Activities have included rock painting, slime kits, keyring making, Lego, puzzles, scratch art and many more. We always look to do something different each month and the children give us ideas for the next activity.


This group participates in 3 trips each year, the children choose where we go for our trips. Some of the trips we have done in the past are trampolining, playcentres, Stubbers, rock climbing, bowling, Adventure Island in Southend and gaming buses at our youth centre.

Older Skittlz group sessions (14-25 years)

The older group meet twice every month at The Vibe Youth Centre (full address: 195-211 Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, RM82UT), from 5.30-7.30pm. This group is a safe space for young people to relax, share their thoughts and feelings and participate in consultations. The group decide what we do in sessions and what our contribution to Members Corporate Parenting Group meetings will be. 

Young people use the session to be themselves in a comfortable space with people who have had similar experiences. They share what they have learnt along their journey, and they support each other with any issues they are experiencing. 

The group is a warm and friendly group who welcomes new members with compassion. There is no pressure for young people to tell us all their life experiences, young people only share what they are comfortable to share. As youth workers we do not have access to personal files, so we only know what young people want us to know.

Extra incentives!

We have a takeaway at all our sessions, so everyone eats dinner together. Every session we ask young people what they would like to eat. 

Everyone who attends a session gets a £10 voucher every time they come as a thank you for getting involved and contributing. 


This group participates in 3 trips per year. The group decide where we’re going and what we’re doing. Previous trips have included paintballing, cinema and meal in London, buffet restaurants, TGI Fridays, Adventure Island in Southend and Theatre. Meals out are very popular!

Out of borough young people

If young people live out of borough, they can still be part of the group by joining us on Teams. We can set this up for sessions and Members Corporate Parenting Group meetings. Out of borough young people are welcome to join us for trips and special events if permitted. Arrangements for this can be discussed and agreed in advance. 

If you are working with a young person in care or a care leaver and would like to find out more about the project, please contact:

Sally Allen-Clarke on email Sally.Allen-Clarke@lbbd.gov.uk or call 07971 111532

Ann McDonnell on email Annm.McDonnell@lbbd.gov.uk or call 07971 542684

We are happy to call young people ourselves to explain the group and answer any questions they may have.

The Participation and Engagement Team 

The Participation and Engagement team is made up of two workers. They are responsible for the development of participation and engagement of all our children in and leaving care. They also manage the events and activities that are offered to young people in and leaving care. The team manage the care leavers NEW Instagram page @thecarenet. Follow to find out about updates, incentives, and events within across our service area!

Groups and activities include: 

  • Film Nights
  • Newsletter club
  • Masterchef competitions
  • Paid Opportunities to work as a Young Inspector
  • Women’s Group
  • Men’s Group
  • Young Parents Group

View the full list of our activities.

Please submit an inquiry form to find out more and take part! You can also email thecarenetwork@lbbd.gov.uk with any questions or ideas for new activities. 

Contact Us

Participation and Engagement Coordinator 

Geniveve Odili, email Geniveve.odili@lbbd.gov.uk or telephone 07355036201

Participation and Engagement Apprentice 

Nawaal Said, email Nawaal.said@lbbd.gov.uk


Sally Allen-Clarke
Participation Officer
Vibe Youth Centre
195-211 Becontree Avenue

Phone: 020 8227 3297
Mobile: 07971 542684
E-Mail: Sally.Allen-Clarke@lbbd.gov.uk

Ann McDonnell
Participation Officer
Vibe Youth Centre
195-211 Becontree Avenue

Phone: 020 8227 3298
Mobile: 07971 542684
E-Mail: annm.mcdonnell@lbbd.gov.uk

Meeting with professionals

Occasionally there are meetings that happen and professionals want to meet with young people to ask them their views and opinions on different matters.

We will update you on this page of any future meetings that you can attend.

There is a meeting that happens every two months were children and young people in our care meet with social workers and IRO’s and other social care staff to discuss how services can be improved.

We will upload the discussions here so you can see what’s been spoken about.

If you would like to attend or contribute to this meeting, please contact our Children’s Rights Officer.

Access to records

You are entitled to view your case files when you are 18.

Our Children’s Rights Officer can support you to do this.

If you would like to view your case files you can contact either your social worker or our Children’s Rights Officer.

Make a complaint or compliment

There are a number of ways that you can complain/compliment if you are not happy or happy about something or a service that you receive from social services.

You can call or email the Complaints and Information Manager:

Veronica Finn
Complaints and Information Officer
Feedback Team

Phone: 020 8227 2405
Email: veronica.finn@lbbd.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can contact our Children’s Rights Officer, Tracey Clarke, who can support you with a complaint or compliment.

Additionally you can contact Coram who will refer and advise.

If you would like to know more about your rights or would like a copy of the Sorted and Supported booklet for young people, give us a call on our Freephone number 0808 800 5792 and speak with the Helpline advocate.

Migrant children project advice

If you need advice, you can email mcpadvice@coramclc.org.uk and we will respond to your email as soon as we can. This service provides one-off advice; we cannot take on cases.


Get your Voice heard!

Feel like no one is listening?

Find it hard to speak up for yourself?

Advocates can help you have your say!

Advocates can help you:

  • make a phone call
  • write a letter
  • have your say in meetings
  • understand your rights
  • say what you want to happen
  • make a complaint

If you would like an advocate to support you please contact our Children’s Rights Officer.


Tracey Clarke
Children’s Rights Officer
The Vibe, 195-211 Becontree Avenue

Mob: 07968 511 822
Email: tracey.clarke@lbbd.gov.uk

Getting your views heard at your Child Protection Conference

It's really important that your views are heard.  We have a range of ways you can do this and you can choose the one you like best!  You also have a say on who hears or sees your views.

  • come along to the  conference in person
  • tell us your views in writing – we’ll send you an online form to your Whatsapp, text or email 
  • facetime the Chairperson
  • •mke an audio file of your views yourself   
  • join the conference by facetime or Teams
  • tell your views to your Social Worker or someone else you trust
  • have a video made by your Social Worker, they will help you with details about what to include
  • have a Teams meeting or meet face to face with the Chairperson

Tell your social worker how you want your voice to be heard and who you want to hear what you have to say.

We look forward to hearing from you!