Council officials and carers in Portsmouth came together with children in care and care experienced adults to formally adopt the Portsmouth Pledge, setting care standards for the city.
The pledge outlines 11 key principles children can expect to receive and was jointly co-produced by children, young people, foster carers and council officers.
Once the pledge content was agreed the children asked for a special event to mark the occasion, leading to them being invited to see councillors, children’s social care staff and foster carers officially signing the pledge at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Cllr Suzy Horton, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “It means so much that not only have we been able to involve Portsmouth’s looked after children in this process, but also that they valued it so much they wanted to have an event to celebrate it at the end. This highlights the importance of the care we’re giving young people and is a really good reminder for us on what they value most and how we can prioritise those things.”
The Portsmouth Pledge sets out the following promises:
- We promise to make sure that you have the love and affection that everyone needs.
- We promise to always respect your individuality.
- We promise to make sure your relationships are always at the heart of everything we do.
- We promise to give you the stable and consistent experience in care.
- We promise that your mental health and wellbeing will be looked after whilst you are in our care.
- We will never give up supporting and encouraging you to do the best you can in school, college, university, work and your life.
- We promise that we will still be here for you, up to and beyond 25. You are as much a part of our lives as we are yours.
- We promise that we will always respect your identity and we promise to help you to connect with your heritage and history.
- We promise that your voice will always be at the centre of our decisions.
- We promise to make sure you know what your rights are and how to access them.
- We promise to always respect and value your experiences as you are the only people that know what it is like accessing our services.