VOYCE reaches out to all children in care.
An important part of the current legislation is that pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi in care have access to an independent advocacy service – which is where VOYCE comes in. Over the last month, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai has been reaching out to children in care to let them know who we are, and to inform them that our advocacy is a service freely available to them.
One of our key frontline staff in this outreach has been Stanley Baldwin. Stanley is currently a VOYCE Youth Advisor Intern who previously served on the National VOYCE Youth Council last year. “We wanted kids in care to know that that we recognise them as unique individuals,” says Stanley. With input from care experienced young people, special cards were developed with tamariki aged 10 years and younger receiving a different card design to rangatahi older than 10.
Before our personalised cards went out, VOYCE did send an introduction letter to all caregivers. We recognise the important part played by caregivers in the work we do – in fact, for many years caregivers strongly called for and supported our establishment as an organisation.
With a growing network of trusted Kaiwhakamana (advocates) around the country, VOYCE is working to enhance the mana of each pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi. We run local events and experiences, creating safe networks and communities that connect care-experienced young people and help build positive morale.