The petals fall like people do, but you need to get back up and keep your head high.
Problems come and go like the clouds but things can stay on paperwork a long time. They should listen more and write less.
It’s difficult having to go through a lot a young age. I have a really good social worker that listens to me and helps me get my point across. People can be patronising which is the antithesis of fun. We should be heard and listened to regarding our experiences.
It’s helpful to have check-ins about how you are doing in life and how you’re feeling. When you build a relationship it’s easier to talk about things, as when there’s judgement it’s harder to share how you feel.
No one knows what’s happening on the other side of the wall. As we say in Lambeth ‘Reach for the stars’.
It’s important to seek out peace and be humble. Within the care system we all have issues with social services and it’s not always going to go your way, but if you work with people it’s peaceful. It’s hard to let people in, but you have to try to trust professionals so you can help yourself.
Being under the Mental Health Act was a wake-up call to put myself my first. I was always that person making sure everyone was alright, but I’ve learned to focus on myself. It’s not a selfish thought, you have to do it. There wasn’t something ‘mentally’ wrong with me, I needed emotional support. Having people around to talk to makes such a difference.
Moving into my flat wasn’t easy but it wasn’t hard. It was a rocky road knowing you’re going to start a whole new journey all over again. Especially knowing myself in the big world we live in. Moving was the light at the end of the tunnel.
I had no say in my life until I turned twenty-one and was told I was an 'adult' and no longer in care. Though I wasn't prepared at the time, becoming independent has given me more choices over my life and I'm now free go wherever I want.
Corporate parents and social workers should trust is and give us the freedom and support to plan our own futures.
Love can come from many places, its not only through families. Care leavers should be supported to find love and their identity in things that make them feel good - hobbies, nature, friendships. Through these things, we can learn to love ourselves.
In this way, love really has no boundaries.
The four pillars in life that we need are power, stability, good health and supportive relationships.
These come from solid foundations, often from family support. Young people leaving care just need some extra help in making these possible.
Care-experienced young people often have mental health issues that they need to manage with medication. This can come from a lack of stability in their lives which has lead to a negative mindset, which often gets worse when things change as they move out of care.
Family, friends, personal advisors and social services all have the potential to play an important role in supporting young people's positive well-being.
Stop ignoring young people's voices. I've had four social workers and two or three leaving care workers. It wasn't consistent. Listen and let young people know about changes to their support.
When you get into the care system, it feels like you're losing everyone. I asked my social worker to arrange therapy but she didn't. Therapy should be available to those who need it.
I was 12 when I was transferred to a secure unit. I'm from Bradford and they placed me in Bristol. It felt like I had to start all over again. It was good to get a fresh start, but I didn't have a say in it and I should have.
A 'home' is more than four walls, more than simply a house.
When I left care, I was told how to furnish a house - it was dictated to me by my advisor what I could spend my budget on. But a house full of things doesn't make a home.
Being in care can feel like a lot of restrictions. It can push young people to want to live independently. But we don’t always have realistic expectations of what this is actually like. The realities of moving out of care can come as a big shock - living independently can be hard, it can be lonely and isolating.
More guidance and support given with an open mind from social services, could better prepare young people for the challenges that independent life as an adult has to bring.
The bare essentials sometimes mean the most to us, especially when we have had to live without them.
We all need light and love to be able to function, it's not wealth that helps us to live well in life.
This bear is twenty years old - he was given to me by my best friend, my dad. His name is Mr. Nightnights. Mr. Nightnights is my rock, he's been through everything with me and he's travelled the world. My best friend brought him to the hospital when I was ill because she knew that I needed him with me. At 24 we're considered 'adult', we're told we no longer need support but everyone needs support it doesn't matter what stage you are in life.
Young people leaving care have the right to a 16+ worker who should help prepare them for their future independent life - this must include young people in kinship care or parental guidance care.
Often social services pull back from cases of young people in kinship care and give them less support but being in any type of care and having court cases going on can be hard and young people in kinship care can face problems just like those in foster or other types of care.
I want to advocate and put my views across so that there is a change and there is awareness around kinship care - this way. kinship care experienced young people can deal with their problems and get on in life.
All my life, I have felt like I'm falling and I have felt like I had to keep moving.
Care leavers need stability, they need a place to call their home so that they can thrive in life.
You can't always change what has happened in your past but you can always make your future stronger and better.