SSCP Youth Forum

Where and how our young people live…

  • Report Author: Participation & Engagement Team

Why is it so important to think about where and how our young people live?

During Autumn 2022, the Youth Forum looked at housing, both what makes a home good and what makes a home unsuitable for children and young people to live in.

At the first session Youth Forum members considered ‘the home’ with everyone able to bring their unique perspective. The views, comments, suggestions, quotes and ideas of the group were put into three categories:

The second session saw a visit from Angela Kerr, CEO of Citizen’s Advice South Somerset.

Angela talked to the group about bailiffs, the discussion highlighted how children and young people are often not aware of the role of a bailiff, what powers they have, why a bailiff might be visiting their home and the trauma that can result from a visit from a bailiff.

The group agreed that it was important for young people to be informed about bailiffs and the process involved.

I’ve had an experience with bailiffs when I was younger. And I feel like what’s more important thing is trying to make them aware of what bailiffs are actually about. I think the young people, we don’t quite know what they’re about. So we’re scared and we’re not too sure. I think if we can say to them that this is the bailiffs, this is what they do and this is their job they might be less scared of someone at the door.

Youth Forum member

The third session considered community. What community means to young people, how young people fit in to their community and who in their communities make them feel safe:

Housing is a topic that we found all of the young people involved could engage with easily as it is a universal experience, although discussions on the emotional aspects of homes and housing proved to be quite difficult. Community safety in outdoor spaces was a particularly important theme to them.

The findings of the Youth Forum were presented to the Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership, and shared with the Children’s Commissioners and the Strategic Housing Group. The findings of the group have contributed towards shaping housing strategy and policy going forward.

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