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Joining Up Joining In

4 Sep 2023

Our care experienced young people have now completed their peer researcher training delivered by Mags from the Learning and Work Institute. They are now paid peer researchers for Leicestershire Cares and are keen to start campaigning relating to things that matter to them and their experiences of the care system.

“Rather than corporate parenting, parenting together sounds better.”

Young Person

Our care experienced young people have identified four key topics they want to explore: finance, mental health, housing and keeping siblings close. They have also identified the responsibility of corporate parents and the expectation of public bodies to fulfil that role effectively. Stable homes built on love (2023) has identified the need for wider corporate parenting responsibilities and this is a key area of exploration for our peer researchers.

We are using Driscoll’s (1994) model of reflection to approach our campaign; Dricoll’s model of reflection is based on three steps; What, So What, and Now What. This approach will help us plan and coordinate the campaign. The model allows us to assess what we are currently doing, why this is important and what our next steps will be.

As a part of their first paid session, our young people co- produced a safeguarding and risk assessment to be used to safeguard our young people and participants, once their research starts. In the session we discussed the various factors involved and highlighted the risks that could arise.

The second paid session for our peer researchers involved them attending an online webinar on Corporate Parenting hosted by Become charity. Our young people were able to express their thoughts and concerns around corporate parenting, as well as understanding views of other agencies nationally.

Our next session will focus on protected characteristics and our peer researchers will partake in an activity analysing and identifying themes from the data collated locally through our survey for “Care experienced should be a protected characteristic?

The leaving care team have liaised with both Coram Voice and The National House Project on ways we could collaborate and broaden the scope for our peer researchers nationally. Our leaving care youth worker, Debs also attended an online session - Extending corporate parenting responsibilities delivered by Coram Voice.

“all public bodies supporting care experienced young people should encompass a shared set of values even though the support they offer is different”.

Young Person

The next steps for our campaigns and participations group

  • To find a definitive question for their campaign.
  • Peer researchers to liaise with groups of care experienced people locally to carry out their research.
  • Continue working with Learning and Work institute and train our next cohort of Peer researchers, starting in November.
  • Collaborate with Leicester City’s Children in Care Council.
  • We will be attending Amplifier, an event hosted by Coram Voice.

For more information or to get involved in the Joining up Joining in Project please contact: or

Joining Up Joining In | Leicestershire Cares

Joining Up Joining In | Leicestershire Cares

Joining Up Joining In | Leicestershire Cares

Mental Health and the lived experiences of care experienced young people | Leicestershire Cares