Seminar at UCLan – ‘Participation in the Corporate Parenting Agenda – Can a shift in the power relationship really happen?’

The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation
University of Central Lancashire
Harrington Building, Room 338a

February 26, 2015 / 4-5:30pm

Participation in the Corporate Parenting agenda – Can a shift in the power relationship really happen?

Gavin Redhead
Children and Young Peoples Participation Officer, Children’s Services Department at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

There is increasing emphasis on listening to the ‘Voice of the Child’, especially those children and young people who are, or have been, involved in the care system. For many of these children and young people, the opportunities to influence life changing decisions are often dependent on the relationship with their key workers. This can often prove challenging, given the bureaucratic nature of care processes and procedures. If services are failing to even evidence that they are listening, how can they hope to demonstrate that what they are being told is having an impact and influencing the decisions that are being taken for those children and young people.

From participation activity undertaken in Blackburn with Darwen, it is possible to demonstrate that at least some services are willing and able to move from just listening to the ‘Voice of the Child’ to involving children and young people in wider decision making and influence. The amount of influence can be variable and subject to the nature of the service involved, but there does appear to be a shift in the power relationship.

As part of this seminar we are hoping to have some of the young people, who are part of the children in care council – VOICE, deliver some key messages from some of the participation activity they have been involved with.


Gavin is the Children and Young Peoples Participation Officer based in the Children’s Services Department at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, a post he has held since 2008. He has strategic and operational responsibility for the participation of vulnerable children and young people, especially children in care and care leavers.


The seminar is free and refreshments are provided.  Seminars usually finish by 5.30pm and are followed by an informal meeting of The Centre, at which all are welcome. To reserve a place go to Eventbrite at:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-centre-seminar-participation-in-the-corporate-parenting-agenda-tickets-15374106366 Your reservation will assist us with ordering refreshments and notifying you of late changes. For all other queries email [email protected]