How might individual looked after children be encouraged along progression routes after taking part in musical activity?

Why this is an important question

This is important for intrinsic reasons – continuing with valuable musical activity and personal fulfilment – as well as for reasons of value-for-money i.e. avoiding the syndrome of ‘a nice activity but no legacy’.

Towards answers

Progression might include:

  • Informal continuity e.g. continued singing in the foster family
  • More structured opportunities e.g. having guitar lessons, taking a Music GCSE
  • Social integration e.g. joining ‘open’ musical activity

There is value in creating awareness from the outset among participants and foster carers of generally available progression routes in the locality.

Keeping social workers informed of ‘their’ children’s progress and aptitudes can add to the number of allies ensuring the children have the opportunity to carry on some activity.

Illustrations from practice

(Taken from music projects funded by Sing Up and Youth Music)

"We have also put a great deal of time and effort in to signposting the children on Voice Box to other creative activities in Dudley run by Dudley Performing Arts Service or independent agencies. We had representatives from DPAS and some of these other agencies at our project concert as well as a lot of information displayed for the children and the foster carers.  Following up on this recently, we found that two children have started guitar lessons, four children have joined the ChatBack project and four children have joined their school choirs. Two foster carers have also since requested information on singing tuition in schools and local dance and drama groups."
(Project Report)

One project leader aimed to ensure that music was integral to a looked after children’s Personal Education Plan:

“I don’t want to walk away in a year’s time without knowing there’s a massive need for this to be part of the Personal Education Plan for young people. We want to make sure that music is integrated.”

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