What's happening to me?
How would you feel about being taken away from your home and made to live with total strangers? This is what happens to thousands of children every year who are taken into the care system. The What’s Happening to Me? Project is trying to help these children by giving them solid advice and information that helps to explain what they need to know on their first day of being in care. Led by members of the Southend-on-Sea Fostering Community and those they look after, WHTM? is an online service that is available 24 hours a day and is free to use as many times as newly looked after children need.
WHTM? is a pilot funded by the Big Lottery Fund that aims to help children between 12 and 16 years old when they are taken into care. Thanks to National Lottery players, this particularly vulnerable group of young people now have a resource directly aimed at helping them through their first days and weeks in the English Care System.
What's Happening To Me? originally came from the Fostering Community of Southend-on-Sea and was born out of concern that young people are often taken into the Care System with very little notice and with even less information about what is happening to them and what's going to happen to them in the future.
From this idea, a co-production between the Fostering Community and local not for profit company Blade Education has been produced and a Steering Group built. The Steering Group consists of members of the Fostering Community; Foster Carers, Social Workers, children in care and adults previously in care - and representatives from Blade Education to provide expertise on the production of media to get the project message across to the target audience of young people between the ages of 12 to 16 who have been taken into care and are either with an Emergency Foster Placement, or their first permanent Foster Family.
WHTM? aims to provide information that has been produced by the Fostering Community and led by experiences of young people who are either still in care or have recently left the system. It is vital that their voice is heard because they have unique insight but also because it means that we are all learning from their experience.
The initial funding to build the WHTM? pilot model came from the work of not for profit partner Blade Education, who then sought funding from the National Lottery Fund via their Awards for All Fund.
If you want to help us with this project, please get in touch: