Young people in Sheffield have created a board game to enable social workers, residential staff and foster carers to think about what makes a good foster care placement.
Young people from Sheffield’s Children In Care Council have created the snakes and ladders style game to support social workers, foster carers and residential staff to think about what makes a good or a bad placement, and to make sure they consider all aspects of a good home.
Lily aged 18, from the Children In Care Council, who helped to create the board game said: “This tool is something that has really helped to open up difficult discussions with our foster carers and social workers about what makes placements difficult or easier for us in a way that is fun and engaging.
“It is really important that foster carers and social workers don’t make assumptions about how we are feeling. Thinking through these issues is really helping us to challenge these assumptions,” she added.
The game uses a series of statements to help foster carers and residential staff think about what makes a good or a bad placement, and build on the support they provide to young people. The game ask players to consider a number of statements such as is it important for carers to give clear boundaries and is it important that you are made to feel part of the family.
The game and its associated training programme has been shared at conferences to hundreds of professionals across the country and adopted by a number of other local authorities to share with their staff and foster carers.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Sheffield City Council said: “This game is yet another great example of how children and young people in care and our Children in Care Council are helping to inform our staff and change the way we deliver our services in a creative and innovative way.
“The game and the training provide an invaluable resource and a real insight into what it’s like to be a child or young person in care, and certainly helps us to reflect on the impact our decisions and policies have on the children and young people in our care,” she added.