Takeover Day 2017 – Giving young people the opportunity to help shape local services

29 November 2017

22 young people from Hertfordshire were given the opportunity to shape plans for Children’s Services as part of this year’s Takeover Day.

The annual Takeover Challenge, a national initiative led by the Children’s Commissioner, saw young people from across the County taking part in a full day of activities which provided a valuable insight into Hertfordshire County Council and other local public organisations.

The Takeover Challenge was coordinated by Hertfordshire County Council’s YC Hertfordshire.

The aim of the day is to develop the way in which the voice of young people in Hertfordshire is heard by those who make decisions about the services affecting them. It also gives young people an insight into the various roles and decision-making processes across different organisations.

This year, 22 young people took part including young carers, children in care, young people with additional needs, and members of Herts1125 Forum including Young Commissioners and the LGBT+ strategic group Who Not What.

Young people took part in a series of workshops with senior officers from the County’s Children’s Services. The workshops were designed to find out what young people wanted to include in Hertfordshire County Council's Children's Plan.

They also had the opportunity the take part in a quiz about how the budget is spent on services across the county and were able to share their opinions on how they think money should be spent in the next financial year.

Other young people interviewed a number of professionals from across Children’s Services and partner agencies about their role in helping children, young people and their families and some also met the Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Thake.

One young person who took part in the day described it as a ‘fantastic experience’ and said he would recommend taking part in future Takeover Days to friends.

The Executive Member for Children’s Services, Teresa Heritage, said: “Takeover Day is a wonderful opportunity for young people to find out about the work of Children’s Services, the Council and its partners. I am sure it has given them a real insight into the decision-making processes involved and will hopefully have shown them how important it is for us to listen to the views of the young people who use our services.”