The Review will engage children and young people throughout. Engagement will be facilitated by VOYPIC (Voice of Young People In Care) on behalf of the Review Team.
29 April 2022
VOYPIC launched a recruitment campaign for the Experts by Experience (EBE) Reference Group in January, following the announcement of the Review. Promotional material was distributed widely across the statutory and voluntary children’s sector, with expressions of interest invited from young people aged 14-25 years old, with lived experience of at least one of the services being considered by the Review. An online information session was held in February, providing a space for interested young people to find out more about the opportunity to participate and to ask any questions about involvement they had.
Applications were received from young people from across Northern Ireland representing a wide range of experiences of different children’s services. Following a screening exercise, and uptake of references, a number of young people were invited to join the EBE Reference Group. For those young people not selected to be part of the group, VOYPIC has committed to hosting a range of open activities and events, to ensure that young people are supported to have their voice heard in the review process.
The first meeting of the EBE Reference Group was held on Saturday 2 April at The Jungle NI, Magherafelt. This full-day meeting was designed as a team-building day, providing the young people with the opportunity to meet the other members of the EBE Reference Group and the VOYPIC staff who will be supporting them throughout the process. The meeting also gave the new members an opportunity to discuss their views on what the Independent Lead Reviewer and the Advisory Panel should prioritise in their considerations, and explore their hopes for what the review should achieve. The group also selected the first two young people to participate in the first Advisory Group meeting.