The Blueprit Forum

The Blueprint Forum has been running in RCT for approximately 14 years. It is a Forum specifically for looked after young people and care leavers aged 14 to 25 living in RCT. The Blue print Forum is supported by RCT Local Authority and is managed by Voices from Care.

The Forum helps the young people living in RCT to have an active say and part in the issues that most affect their lives. As a member of the Blue Print Forum, you may actively engage in the meetings that take place the last Wednesday of each month. These meetings are structured with key topics, chosen by the members themselves, discussed and debated and then this information is fed back to the relevant party. Training is also provided to members, which has included completing application forms, interviewing techniques and equal opportunities awareness.

Members also have the opportunity to feed into Voices from Care's Membership Committee and Board of Trustees. Voices from Care is a service user lead organization, which means the Blue Print Forum members and members of Voices from Care (ie the young people) assist in running it.

Voices from Care brings young people together throughout Wales who are or have been looked after. Voices from Care aims to provide opportunities to improve conditions of being in care, to promote the views of young people and to protect the interests of young people in care.

Any young person who is or has been in care is welcome to become an active member of Voices from Care. Voices from Care aims to ensure that young people are heard by the decision makers in Wales.

Voices from Care and RCT Local Authority are currently working in partnership in the development of an initiative around Corporate Parenting with the Blue Print Forum working towards the development of a charter on good parenting, so watch this space...

By working with Voices from Care, there are opportunities for the Blue Print Forum members to hold key officer posts, to gain skills such as presentation skills, team working and communication development and to get involved with taking part in training outside agencies and individuals in what it's like to be in care. There are further opportunities for work experience/placements at home in Wales as well as in Europe.

However, it's not all work and no play though, as Blue Print Forum members, supported by RCT LA, also go on trips and outings. Members have recently come back from Drayton Manor and some of our members have recently completed work experience/placements in Berlin.

There is also a National Reference Group which is run via Voices from Care and through which members get involved in consultations. This is a research and consultation group of looked after young people and care leavers. The group comprises of Blue Print Forum members and members of Voices from Care and is used to let the Welsh Government and other organisations know the main issues young people in care and care leavers are faced with.

The National Reference Group aims to be a key consultation platform on issues relating to being in care and leaving care. The group, steered by young people who have experienced the care system, will have their views and experiences heard which may then be used to feed into reports, policies, guidelines and legislation.
The National Reference Group allows young people to have a say in national decision making processes which allows them to participate and influence good practice.

If you are a looked after young person or care leaver and are interested in becoming a member of the Blue Print Forum, a member of Voices from Care or if you are an agency interested in booking a consultation please visit: www.vfcc.org.uk or email: christopher@vfcc.org.uk or Martin@vfcc.org.uk and we will get back to you.