Participation in society

We want you to feel part of your community, to achieve your full potential and feel valued. We will support you to take up opportunities and make the most of the advice, information and support available.

We can help you with courses that teach you about independent living, which can be accessed through your personal adviser and the targeted youth adviser based in the Leaving and After Care teams.

The Children in Care Council (CICC) offers volunteering and social opportunities and gives you a platform to have your say. The CICC is for young people who have experience of being in the care of Essex. Young people will meet throughout the year to talk about how children are cared for by Essex, to make suggestions to make services better and get involved in making changes and improvements.

Meet other young people

We embrace diversity and will work with you to make sure that you feel safe. There is a regular meet up called ‘Proud to be Me’ for young people in care and care leavers aged 12 to 17.

It's a place for young people from diverse backgrounds to get together. You can explore identity, have fun and explore different cuisine and culture. The group meets to cook and chat and share ideas.

These events are organised by the Children in Care Council. Sessions take place at Parkside Youth Centre, Witham. You must get in touch to book a space.

To book, email or phone 07584262934.

Find upcoming Proud to be Me events on the CICC website

Keeping in touch

You are not alone. We can support you to feel confident and in control of your life.

There are clubs run in each area by Leaving and After Care teams where you can access support for your health, employment and wellbeing. Please ask your personal adviser for details.

This includes a 'Keep in Touch' group, a place for young people to catch up, enjoy good food and relax in the company of others in similar situations.

To book, email or phone 07584262934.

Find upcoming Keep in Touch groups on the CICC website

Your personal adviser can help you to access resources and clubs. Please tell us what we can explore with you, and we will be happy to look into this with you.

LGBTQ+ support

There is support, advice and guidance for you around exploring your identity, coming out and family relationships.

Essex has a flourishing gay and trans community. Linking up with other LGBTQ+ individuals in the local community can help you feel included, respected, and comfortable. For example, every year we celebrate Essex Pride.

You can find support:

  • in the local events and groups in the contacts section of this guide
  • by speaking to your personal adviser or mental health coordinators. They can help you find opportunities to explore your identity


We will support you in attending a specific place of worship, or special occasion in your community relating to your identity, by funding your travel costs up to 4 times a year.


Once you are 18 you will be able to vote. This means you can have your say on local and national issues. We will make sure that you have identification and help you register to vote.

Learning to Drive

We can support you with the costs of learning to drive.

You must be aged 17 and over, and have been in education, training, or employment for at least 6 months.

We will fund your provisional driving licence and one theory test, and if you pass we will fund:

• up to 10 hours of driving lessons

• one practical driving test