About the Me and My World Review

We know that one of the most important things that children need to grow and develop is an understanding of their history, who they are, who has been important in their life and who is in their world now. For children growing up in foster care this is particularly important. Brighton and Hove social workers are committed to ensuring that your child is supported to understand their history and have their progress and successes celebrated to help them grow to be confident in who they are.

The Me and My World Review is a process not just a meeting.  It takes place within the first three months of a child being placed with you and then at least six monthly and normally includes a meeting with and for the child or young person. The aim of the meeting is to talk about key events for your child over the last six months; any challenges they may be experiencing and how these might be overcome; their key achievements and successes in order that everyone involved in their life can know about this and share pride in their achievements.  If difficult issues need to be discussed about your relationship with them and/OR their placement with you, you’ll be able to discuss with your supervising Social Worker, the IRO and the child’s social worker  when and how these discussions should best take place. The decision might be made that this shouldn’t happen in the meeting itself.  
 

What can you do to help?

  • Write a letter to the child in your care every six months. This will capture your experience of them, things you’ve all enjoyed, times when you have laughed and key achievements and successes. Suggestions of what to include in this letter is included on the following page. 
  • Take and store photographs and important things that can be included in the child’s memory box. 
  • Talk to the child or young person about their Me and My World Review and how they would like this to run and tell the social worker about this.
  • Talk to your child’s social worker about your experience of the child now so they can record this as part of the Me and My World Assessment.
  • Come along to their six month review, hear about the child and young person’s progress, contribute your thoughts and share your pride in their success.

What can you expect from the child’s social worker?

To support your involvement in Me and My World the child’s social worker should:

  • Meet with you regularly and talk about your experience of the child and young person in placement.
  • Talk to you about the child and young person’s life history and how you can support their understanding of this in placement.
  • Explain the process of the Me and My World Review and gather your views and suggestions for the involvement of the child or young person.
  • Remind you of the six-monthly letter and, along with your supervising social worker, support you to write this.

What can you expect from your supervising social worker?

To support your involvement in Me and My World your supervising social worker will:

  • Support you in thinking about the child in your care, to understand their history, to empathise with them and think about how to look after them to enable them to achieve and be the best they can be.
  • Help you think about what to include in the letter you will write to the child in your care for each review.
  • Be available to help you complete the foster carers contribution to review record.
  • Discuss any challenges you may be having in looking after the child or young person, identify any support you may need and think about how the child’s needs might be met.
  • Talk to you about the review process and the information that you would like to share with key professionals and the child or young person as part of the review process.
  • Help you think about the support the child may need to participate in their review meeting.

What can you expect from the IRO?

  • To support your involvement in Me and My World the IRO will consider contacting you, your supervising social worker or the child’s social worker in preparation for the meeting.
  • Consider contacting you as part of the review process to discuss key information that needs to be considered.
  • Explore with you what information you wish to share in the review meeting and how you will help the child or young person participate.
  • Share the written record of the review process and meeting. 

Guidance on Foster Carer's Letter to Child in Care

Central to the Me and My World Assessment and Review is a letter from you as their foster carer which should be written  prior to EVERY  Me and My World Review.  The purpose of the letter is to enable you to record key events in the life of the child and their foster family  in a way that can be understood by them. Some of what you write can be shared in the Me and My World Review and writing the letter should help you decide which parts you would like to share in the meeting. 

The sorts of things that it will be important to write about is up to you and should be personal and individual to the child. You might include your memories of the child when they first came to live with you and the many ways in which they have grown and developed since that time. You might want to write about first experiences like starting a new school, buying a first pair of shoes, learning to ride a bike, mastering reading or writing or beginning a new interest or activity. It might be important to write about the ways the child has physically changed over the last six months, growing taller, deciding to have a new haircut, choosing to wear different sorts of clothes.  You might also include magic moments in family life like times when you’ve all clicked and had a good time, activities that you have all enjoyed, holidays, Saturday nights in, trips that you have been on, times when you’ve all enjoyed one another’s company. It doesn’t have to be big, major events, just things that have been important for family life. It might also be good to write about important family celebrations that the child has participated in including birthdays, weddings, significant cultural or religious events. If there have been times when you have worried about the child or there have been challenges along the way then you can include these and how you’ve tried to overcome them and help the child. You can also write about your best hopes for the child, areas that you want them to focus on and what you would like to happen next for them and their care. Your letter can be supported with photographs and other memorabilia which can be included in the child’s memory box.

Writing about these sorts of things will help promote the child’s identity and understand who they are. It will enable them to gather and store memories and support their sense of belonging in your family. The very act of writing this letter communicates that you care about the child, you’ve noticed, thought about them and understood what is happening for them. Overall, the letter will be kept and contribute to the child or young person’s life story and be included in their memory box.

Foster Carer’s Letter Template

Dear (name of child)

I thought that it would be good to write you a letter so that I can share with you some of my memories of our last six months together (or longer if this is the first time a letter has been written). I want to tell you all about the times that we’ve enjoyed and your key achievements and the many ways in which you have grown and developed. You can keep this letter and remember them too. 

  • My memories of you when you first came to live with us include
  • The ways in which you have changed and grown since that time
  • The first experiences that you’ve had
  • Times when we’ve all enjoyed one another’s company were when
  • A really good day out included
  • Activities that you have enjoyed
  • Key events for you and our family that you’ve been part of (birthdays, weddings, religious or cultural occasions and how they’ve been celebrated)
  • Topics that you’ve enjoyed at school and key achievements there
  • The times when I’ve found myself worrying about you and the ways in which I’ve tried to help you with this
  • You’ve found things difficult when……and what everyone has done to try to help
  • The areas I think we should work on in the future include
  • My hopes for you as you grow older include
  • Your ambitions for the future

I’m going to share some of these memories at your Me and My World Review and you can keep this letter in your memory box to read when you would like to.

Best wishes

Name of carer

Me and My World Assessment and Review: A Guide for Children and Young People

What is Me and My World?

Me and My World is a way that social workers in Brighton and Hove will work with you to do all we can to ensure that you grow and develop to be the best that you can be. Me and My World is a way that social workers will meet with you to get to know you, find out what’s INPORTANT TO, AND going on for, you. Social workers want to make sure that you understand why you are in foster care, what happened in your birth family and what you feel about this now. They also want to recognise your interests, hobbies, successes and achievements and help you build on this for the future.

Every year, social workers will write a record of all the ways in which you have grown and developed in a Me and My World Assessment is this sentence still accurate. It will include important stuff about what you were like at a certain age that will be important for you to remember as you grow older. It will be written in a way that will be fun, interesting and make sense to you. It will be written for you and not about you. The Me and My World Assessment will also include a memory box of photographs and other stuff that means something to you. Your social worker will also talk to your birth family and foster carers and get them to add things to it too. Your foster carer will also write a letter before every review  that records how you have been doing for you to read when you are older. You’ll be able to keep the Me and My World Assessment and memory box for always.

We want to make sure that it’s a meeting that you want to come to and take part in. You’ll be able to decide who you would like to be at the meeting and what you would like to talk about. You can decide with your social worker and IRO how the meeting is run and what you would like to do in it. You can contribute to the meeting by doing something creative like do a blog, poster, poem or picture that you can share and feel proud of.

Me and My World means your social worker should:

  • Explain why you are in foster care and answer any questions that you may have.
  • Talk to you about the job of a social worker and a bit about themselves and what they like doing.
  • Talk to you about what you would like from your social worker and the sorts of things you would like to do with them.
  • Meet with you at least every six weeks, sometimes more, to get to know you, find out what’s important to you and what makes you tick.
  • Create a memory box to store important things for you.
  • Meet with your birth family and tell them how you are and let you know about them if you would like to.
  • Make sure that your foster carer writes a letter as part of every review which says how you have been getting on, your successes and achievements. 
  • Help you prepare for your Me and My World Review, who you want to be there and what you want to do or say in it.
  • Make sure that your foster carer takes lots of photographs and keeps things that are important to you to include in your memory box.
  • Write a Me and My World Assessment every year and include key events, achievements and successes.

Me and My World Means that You Can:

  • Meet with your social worker and do something that interests you.
  • Talk to your social worker about what you would like to be recorded in your Me and My World Assessment.
  • Think about any questions that you might have and ask them.
  • Add things to your memory box.
  • Plan your Me and My World Review and run it the way you want to.
  • Create something to share at your review a video blog, PowerPoint, poem, letter or picture that says something about you.
  • Read your Me and My World Assessment whenever you would like to.