The Virtual School Academy

Client – Oxfordshire County Council

Online training for children’s services from the experiences of those who have lived it.

Leaving care is a challenge for all young people, having to think about housing, finance and a whole host of oThe Care Leaders we were asked by Oxfordshire County Council’s Virtual School to develop a ‘Virtual School Academy’ – a collection of sessions to engage children’s service staff by taking them on a journey through the children’s social care system, developing their knowledge of the services themselves, as well as understanding the lived experiences of young people.

We developed 6 one hour sessions that were facilitated over 6 consecutive weeks to children’s service staff. Our sessions followed the chronological lived experiences of a child in social care, taking the learners on a journey from entering care to leaving, understanding key information related to education, foster care and social work.
ther social and emotional barriers can be overwhelming and leave young people feeling isolated and forgotten. The House Project was developed to address these issues and to give young people ownership of the solutions and a positive future. The House Project developed the Care Leavers National Movement to bring together young people from across the UK to steer the charity and develop leaving care services with and for care leavers.

These sessions were;

Our leaders have both professional and lived experiences of children’s services, this combined with over 10 years of facilitation and training expertise ensured these sessions were developed to engage practitioners with real experiences of care and built the learning around this, so that learning was related to practice and relevant to the reality of care.
Our leaders have both professional and lived experiences of children’s services
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We recognise that continuing professional development is important for practitioners working with children. With the right training, workforces can be transformed and develop their knowledge to build better relationships with young people. We understand the pressure we are under at the moment; COIVD-19 has forced us into a digital space that it isolating people and making it challenging to find meaningful engagement opportunities for our workforce to develop. Being able to connect with your colleagues, learn from about the lived and professional experiences of children’s services and gain knowledge about trauma, attachment, and child development are crucial to enabling practitioners to support young people in their services.

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