It’s National Care Leavers Week (24 – 31st October 2019). We thought it would be good to mark the occasion by sharing this heart-warming statement from one of our care leavers:

“Many people may argue that being in care is not the best place to be. There are negative stereotypes around children in care and foster carers. However, from my point of view, I see it as an invaluable experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

My experience is absolutely touching, I learned so many things and I developed my self-esteem through this journey because I an incredibly patient, organised and, most importantly, caring foster parents. I was looked after with care and genuine love, that it got to a point where I felt its impossible to feel negatively about the experience. I was given so much freedom, that I felt like I was the luckiest 17 year old!

I used to stay at college and school doing extra work, coming up with excuses to stay as far as possible form home. But since I was in foster care, I changed, and my favourite days are the weekend. In addition, my foster parents listen to me, they value my voice and my opinion; they ask for my suggestions, they support and give advice and they make feel included, this in turns boost my confidence. Even if it’s just a 5% boost, that to me is a lot.

All I want to say is thank you for all those who play a part in my experience of living in care, because I have never felt happier since the day I come to England until the day I was brought into care. The appreciation that I have for those who work in this field is immeasurable. I truly am thankful.

I also want to add that, before you generalise or stereotype the negative stigmas about living in care, please remember there are always two sides to the story. Don’t just conform to what you hear, please find out more, because behind those negative stereotypes, there are people who work day and night fighting for kids and young adults to live a better life. I couldn’t describe it enough in words how important my experience is to me, and I hope that this statement may give you an alternative perspective about children in care and care leavers.

Thank you so much.