My life, my support, my choice
In March 2015 National Voices and Think Local Act Personal issued the report titled My Life, my support, my choice, which outlines what children and young people with complex lives want coordinated care to look like. The document uses the term "complex lives” to include all children and young people who are likely to need care and support from multiple services throughout their life. The report reveals that central to their needs and preferences is the right to live the way they want, so the publication also looks at what exactly children and young people want from their lives. It does this by including a series of ‘I Statements’. For example, “I am confident that my voice is clearly heard, as distinct from those of the adults around me”. The report also outlines many interesting case studies of services which are better at reflecting the preferences of children and young people with complex lives. One example is the "Total Respect" training programme in the London Borough of Richmond. In this programme, children and young people who have experience with care and support services help train care professionals, encouraging them to see children and young people as individuals who have the right to participate in their own care planning. Finally, the document challenges service providers and commissioners to have further conversations with children and young people about their preferences and needs.