In March 2020 our founder Sarah Burrows and some of the young people we support were invited to speak at the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board’s annual safeguarding conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Understanding My World’ and focused on hearing children’s voices to better understand their lived experience. As well as Children Heard And Seen, attendees heard from children and young people from CiCC and VOXY, and Step Out Safer Together Youth Ambassadors, along with speakers from Children’s Social Care, Autism Family Support, Mind of My Own, the Clinical Commissioning Group, Thames Valley Police, Youth Justice Service and keynote speaker Lemn Sissay.
Five young people from our Youth Advocates group, Jasmyn, Luke, Kyzir, Zayn and Kayim, met up in the weeks before the conference to plan their presentation and what they wanted to say. Rather than tell their own stories, they decided to read quotes from other children who are supported by Children Heard and Seen. This meant that they could make sure that the voice of the child was heard and minimised the chance of them getting upset by having to tell their own stories.