Who Cares? Scotland is a partner of the Scottish Youth Parliament with two seats for Care Experienced members as MSYPs. Although other local authority MSYPs may also have experience of care, these two seats ensure that Care Experienced young people are always represented in the biggest youth forum in Scotland.
Elections are taking place in November 2021, with elected MSYPs sitting from March 2022 until March 2024. The Expression of Interest phase opens from 1st April and is open until 30th June. From that point, we will confirm the candidates and work with them towards the election in November.
Who can apply?
We are looking to hear from members aged 14-25 who are interesting in representing Who Cares? Scotland and the Care Experienced community at a national level. Candidates do not need to have political knowledge – they must simply demonstrate a passion for making change and speaking up about issues facing Care Experienced children and young people. We’d like to encourage members from any part of Scotland to consider expressing an interest. We will support them with travel to and from sittings and events, and otherwise they must be able to communicate regularly with their support worker, SYP staff and other MSYPs via video conferencing, messaging and calls.
Why is this a good opportunity for members?
This is an amazing opportunity for members to gain experience in national influencing and campaigning work, growing their activism skills, connecting with other young people, and making sure Care Experienced voices are heard. MSYPs can gain confidence, improve public speaking skills, develop their leadership experience, create networks and so much more. See this short video about MSYP’s experiences: https://syp.org.uk/get-involved/have-your-voice-heard/
How is this opportunity unique?
The MSYP offer will exist alongside the National Representative Body, however, there are some key differences: firstly, MSYPs specifically represent young people in Scotland aged 12-25. Secondly, although MSYPs and NRB representatives will interact with each other, MSYPs will feed into the Scottish Youth Parliament structure rather than Who Cares? Scotland’s. They will act as an external youth representative for Care Experienced people and will communicate evidence heard from our members in this national forum whenever they have the opportunity.
How will they be supported?
Heather Donaldson email@example.com will be the support worker for MSYPs throughout their time in post, as this will be overseen by the Policy and Volunteering teams. Heather will have regular contact with MSYPs and accompany them to sittings and events. MSYPs will also be considered part of our WCS Volunteer team, and have their contributions recognised as volunteering. They will also regularly connect with the Policy team and our National Representative Body, as well as with Who Cares? Scotland members. Heather is the Named Election Coordinator and on hand to answer any questions our members may have about becoming a candidate for election.
How can members find out more?
We will also host two information drop-in sessions for members who wish to come along to find out more. These will be held on Thursday 13th May 6PM – 7:30PM and Wednesday 9th June 6PM – 7:30PM over Zoom. We will advertise these across social media nearer the time, but if you wish to sign up now, please email Heather to ask for details. These aren’t the only chances for you to find out more though – Heather is happy to chat through questions over the phone, video call or messages any time!
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