‘Connecting’ theme of this year’s Care Experienced Week

Care experienced children and young people, their families and carers in Aberdeen, are invited to ‘connect’ and enjoy free fun activities during this year’s Care Experienced Week.

Care Experienced Week is an annual Scotland-wide initiative by Who Cares? Scotland, which see Corporate Parents celebrating people who have experienced the care system with events taking place across the country from Friday 23 October until Saturday 31 October.  

The week aims to raise awareness about and offer opportunities for care experienced young people to participate in a range of events, which promote a sense of belonging and connectedness.

This year’s theme is ‘Connecting’ which is particularly significant due to COVID-19 and everchanging restrictions. Who Cares? Scotland has listed this year’s events on its website: https://www.whocaresscotland.org/get-involved/care-experienced-week-2020/

Aberdeen City Council and its community planning partners through their commitment to the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) have a duty of care to help and support children and young people to understand and access multi-agency throughcare and after care services and by doing so improve physical and emotional health outcomes for care experienced young people.  

Aberdeen City Council’s Champion’s Board works with and for care experienced children and young people in the city to improve services for them and support them to be the best they can be.  

In 2019 Integrated Children’s and Family Services along with its Champions Board members, hosted an event, which saw over 100 care experienced young people and their families and carers enjoyed craft making, cake decorating as well as sharing lunch and home baking.

Unable to host a similar event this year due to COVID, Integrated Children’s and Family Services and Champions Board members have organised 120 ‘wee bags of belonging’ which either contain small cakes and a cake decorating kit or a pot plant, soil and bulbs for planting and paints for decorating the pot, for the care experienced children and young people to enjoy and share an experience that they know others are also taking part in the activities.

The children and young people and the Champion Board members have been invited to send in pictures of their efforts to Aberdeen Children’s and Young People’s Rights Service who will bring these together to share that sense of connection.

Further information and photographs will be posted on the following Facebook pages: @AberdeenAce and @YouthTeamAberdeen

Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council and Chair of Community Planning Aberdeen said: “Not all people experience a great start in life and Care experienced young people face many barriers to achieving positive outcomes and the City Council, through its active role in Community Planning Aberdeen, is taking forward a range of initiatives to help them overcome these. In the past year, we have seen a higher number of care experienced children and young people remain in kinship care, an increase in attainment and exam results and sustained positive destinations.

“These are challenging times we live in due to COVID and it is all the more important that people feel ‘connected’ and by organising online activities for our care experienced young people to get involved in and enjoy will help them to feel supported and better connected.”

Aberdeen City Councillor Lesley Dunbar, a member of the Champion’s Board and Vice Convener of the Public Protection Committee, which child protection reports to, said: “I'm delighted to take part again this year in Care Experienced Week. It's always fun. With my wee bag of belonging I'll be trying some spooky cake decorating, just in time for Halloween.

“Connecting with care experienced children and young people, families and carers is a particular priority in these challenging COVID times. Cake decorating is always popular with young people and we'll all look forward to seeing everyone's video clips.” 

The activities organised by Aberdeen City Council support its ongoing programme to attain UNICEF Child Friendly City accreditation.