UMatter Survey 2014

In 2013 the U Matter survey was developed as a way of monitoring the effectiveness and functionality of the Pledge for Looked After Children. The U Matter survey provided a chance for children and young people in care to inform the Children’s Rights and Advocacy service about their experience of living in care. The survey was available to complete online or via interview: interviews were conducted by professionals, the Children’s Rights and Advocacy Service and Show Me That I Matter.

A copy of the report and it’s recommendation can be downloaded from this page.

Key findings from the UMatter survey

Most young people were positive about their placements and felt listened to by their foster carers; they were invited to family events and felt able to talk to a foster carer or social worker if there was a problem.   Most young people feel they have been treated as an individual, with respect, have had a say in decisions that have been made about them, and were positive about the relationship they had with their social worker. However making contact with social workers wasn’t always easy.  Most young people were happy with their contact arrangements with family.  Young people were positive about the support they had received in accessing health services and reported that they were encouraged to take part in leisure activities. 

So... Work is underway with Children's Social Care to improve the accessibility of social workers to young people and ensure that young people have contact details for their social workers.

Over a third of young people didn’t answer questions about Reviews, indicative of disinterest from young people. Many young people didn’t know who their Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) was, this tended to be because their IRO had not visited them between review meetings.  However young people tended to feel comfortable enough to have their say in their review meeting. Young people generally felt well supported in their education, yet nearly half of young people thought that they didn’t have a Personal Education Plan.

So... Capcity in the Independent Reviewing Officers team is being increased and representatives from the service have attended the Show Me That I Matter panel to hear directly from young people about their experiences.

More than half of young people were unaware of the Rights and Advocacy Service, however most young people knew they had a right to complain.  Overall young people were very positive about their experience of being Looked After by City of York Council with 76% said their experience of being looked after as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’. 58% gave City of York 5/5 for the quality of placements and 90% agreed with the statement that ‘City of York Council provides good quality placements

So... Awareness of the Rights and Advocacy Service was explored with young people and in many cases they knew of the service but knew the people they worked with rather than the service name. Awareness will be raised through the development of the new Show Me That I Matter website and the Speak Up consultation event taking place in June 2014.

Useful documents


Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS)

01904 554444