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The Voices in Participation Council (VIP)

The Voices in Participation (VIP) project was established in 2009 and has been successfully running on island since. The project aims to enable children and young people in care to influence and have a voice in policies and procedures which impact their lives. This is achieved through various forums including council meetings, focus groups, independent projects and the representation of young people in a number of professionals meetings. The project strives to encourage all young people to participate in sharing their voice in a way which is meaningful for them. This may be through group discussions, individual meetings, art, music, media, drama or photography. This eclectic approach to participation has led to the group presenting a diverse range of successful projects with positive outcomes for children and young people in care. 

The project is open to children and young people aged 7-25 years with care experience. The group has been successful in many undertakings since its inception. These include: 

  • Having submitted responses to a number of Tynwald questions

  • Becoming an integral member of the Corporate Parenting Group

  • Delivering a public instillation at the Manx Museum which highlights the challenges and triumphs of being a child or young person in care

  • Sitting as members of interview panels

  • Speaking in various forums to improve understanding of looked after children’s care experiences

The VIP currently run a training programme for professionals titled ‘Through the keyhole’. This experience based training is created and delivered by young people with experience of the care system and offers participants an opportunity to understand the care journey through the eyes of the child.

The VIP identified the support to learning to drive as a significant disadvantage to their peers, therefore proposed a 'support to driving' project to Social Care in 2017. After significant work, research and negotiation the proposal was successful. The DRIVE project scheme now offers young people in care over the age of 16 years financial support to learn to drive. 

The Voices in Participation project is an integral part of the team at Children and Families Service with young people making a strong impact on how decisions and policies are formed.

To find out more about being a member of the VIP project or more information about the project, please contact:

Christopher Walker

Telephone: +44 1624 686230

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