Connecting old and young
By Lorraine George,
We are delighted to announce that leading children’s charity Coram will be partnering with us from 2022 to launch a new programme of Fellowships on Children and young people with experience of care. The partnership will run for three years of Fellowships and is supported by the Hadley Trust. We asked Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, to tell us about the new partnership.
"Our vision is for the Fellows to go on and become leaders and changemakers to ensure that policies and practice change and evolve." - Dr Carol Homden, Chief Executive Officer of Coram
Q: Why are you partnering with the Churchill Fellowship on this theme?
CH: As the world’s first children’s charity, and a leader and convenor within our field, we have a keen interest in supporting the evolution of children’s rights, education and social care. Uniquely, Coram today stands at the intersection of the voluntary sector, academia, social work, education, law, advice, and children’s services, which I believe gives us an unparalleled perspective on the sector.
For Coram the opportunity to partner with the Churchill Fellowship in launching and developing the new programme of Children and young people with experience of care represents a natural fit. In the last few weeks we have been at the heart of the debate on how we improve the care system, and made a substantial contribution to the independent review of children’s social care, a wide-ranging review commissioned by the Government and tasked with making recommendations for change to the children’s social care system to ensure children and young people within it get the support they need.
In addition, across Coram we are increasingly looking at how we use what we learn through daily experience to improve policy making and understanding in a way that benefits children and young people, which is why we are working towards the launch of the of the Coram Institute for the Future of Children, the UK’s leading centre turning insight into impact to improve the life chances of children.
We are very excited by the opportunity the partnership represents to further advance the body of knowledge on a group of children and young people who have all too often being under-represented in the public discourse. We very much hope to hear from people with experience of care themselves. I would personally welcome applications to the programme from within the Coram community also!
Q: Tell us about yourselves. What does Coram do?
CH: Established as the Foundling Hospital in 1739 – the very first children’s charity in the UK – we have evolved and today we are a vibrant charity group, supporting hundreds of thousands of children, young people and families every year. We are made up of a range of specialist organisations, all of whom lead the way in representing and supporting children.
Our work includes:
What we do enables us to better understand what works for children and young people, and we use that experience to engage with government, local authorities, social workers, teachers and families – all those in a position to make a difference - to help deliver better practice, systems and laws.
Q: How will Coram’s involvement help this cohort of Fellows?
CH: Working with professionals to make lives better for children in care and care leavers is at the heart of our work right across the Group. CoramBAAF is the leading community of practice providing the specialist advice and resources needed by adoption and fostering professionals. Coram Voice advocates work with children to ensure they know their rights and to ensure they are always heard in decisions that matter. Coram Children’s Legal Centre provides legal advice, representation and strategic litigation in the UK and Coram International is an acknowledged leader in socio-legal research and capacity building, working with 42 countries this year. We are able therefore to draw on this body of work and network, conferences, training and practice dissemination to support the Fellows so that together we increase the knowledge and capacity of support for children and young people.
Q: What do you hope that this Fellowship programme will achieve?
CH: Change. Our vision is for the Fellows to go on and become leaders and changemakers, sharing their knowledge and experience to ensure that policies and practice change and evolve, leading to better lives for children and young people. I believe the Fellows who are selected will have the potential to make a significant impact in driving insight, improvement and innovation and bringing about the change we need to see. We look forward to working with the Churchill Fellowship to make it happen.
Our Children and young people with experience of care Fellowship programme opened again for applications on 12 September 2023.
The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.
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