What is #CareConvos?

#CareConvos is a monthly Twitter chat hosted by Rosie Canning and supported by Aoife O’Higgins. On the first Monday of every month, we invite people to come and talk about various aspects of the care experience and think collectively about changes in practice and policy. So far, we’ve discussed education, research engagement, language and relationships.

To join us, open Twitter and type #CareConvos in the search box, then click on ‘latest’ and you’ll see all related tweets in reverse chronological order. Join in from there!

Who is #CareConvos for?

We invite anyone who has an interest in improving the lives of children and young people in care to come along. That’s care experienced people, foster and kinship carers, social workers, residential care workers, virtual schools, voluntary sector professionals, advocates as well as friends and family of those who are touched by the care system.

What happens during #CareConvos?

Every month anywhere between 30 and 50 people take part in conversations on various topics. We tweet from @Convos4Care and ask questions to stimulate discussion. Imagine a group of people sat together in a coffee shop having a chat: some drift in and out of the circle, a few people are just listening (we see you lurking, and we welcome that!), while others are passionately discussing the problematic language used around the care experience, the role teachers play in children’s education or the importance of relationships in young people’s lives.

What’s so special about #CareConvos?

#CareConvos privileges the voices of people with lived experience of care. This is a critical element of its current success. Anyone with care experience who wants to come along and share their experience or expertise is afforded the space and platform to do this. The course of the conversation is guided by the topics and questions we suggest, but what people share is never re-interpreted or summarised or paraphrased for another audience or context. This means that care experiences voices are heard above others and they continue to resonate far beyond the #CareConvos hour. 

Our #DreamTeam is also very special: bringing together care experience, research evidence and lots of blue sky thinking makes for a really exciting project. We want to share that excitement with everyone who joins in (including the lurkers) to grow the project and develop more collaboration and co-production.

There is real synchronicity to our co-production. Many people, those that work with children in care in whatever capacity, and those that were once in the system, want change. #CareConvos has created a space for collective conversations about change. #CareConvos creates a community of people who want to improve the lives of children in care.  

What’s next for #CareConvos?

Our project runs until March 2020, and we’ve been thinking about what we’ll do beyond that since we first the day we started working together. There are already plans for some in our community to host future #CareConvos and we hope that more people will come forward to do that.

We also hope that the ideas and connections that emerge from #CareConvos will feed into changing practice and inspiring future research projects. This might be through the development of new ideas and research questions or because new relationships form and people decide to work together. At some point, we also hope to collect some data about what #CareConvos means to other people to inform where we go next.

We are always welcome to feedback or further ideas to improve what we do. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute to #CareConvos. 

For more information, you can get in touch with #CareConvos on Twitter @Convos4Care