29 Oct 2019 Lived experience and identity Personal history Ask any social worker what they like least about their job and they will tell you ‘paperwork’. How much thought do you give to what you write, or don’t write about a child in care and why does this matter so much? It matters a great deal that care leavers can develop a healthy understanding of their personal history and how their lived experience helps shape who they are, something we should all be able to take for granted.
25 Oct 2019 The knock on the door (an extract) Triggers Like gunfire, a trigger can happen anywhere, anytime. In the local Starbucks when I see a mother and her son. Trigger. When I speak to someone and they are only half listening. Trigger. When I sit around a family dinner table. Trigger. When I drink too much beer and can’t stand up. Trigger. The feeling that you’re not enough. That your voice is not heard. That you don’t belong. The inability to express yourself. That was the story the inner child was given. It’s all I know. This idea is not unfamiliar though is it?
22 Oct 2016 Fostering forms bonds that last a lifetime Perhaps thirty years late, I have decided to take the surname of my foster-family and have now received certified copies to send to a long list of organisations that support my often chaotic life.  It’s been quite a journey from Sean ‘Bentley’ throughout my school years, to Sean ‘Ferrer’ in my late teens. My first surname change was a robust rejection of my biological father’s. He contributed mostly through acts of omission that enabled the full spectrum of abuse I endured from my grandfather and, until I was thrown into care, by his partner, masquerading as his wife.
8 Dec 2015 Foster to Freedom (the first chapter of a personal memoir) "Mom I don't want hot dogs again," I said in an exasperated voice. I was sitting at the table in our crammed kitchen. My baby sister, Leah, was in her stroller next to me. The kitchen wasn't particularly memorable, even as far as kitchens go. To the left of the doorway was where my sister and I were somewhat impatiently waiting to be fed. Beneath my feet was the remnants of beautiful tile, yellowing slowly and cracked in certain places around the floor. I was used to old houses or trailers growing up.
20 Oct 2015 A letter from America to foster carers Dear Care Givers This letter is designed to give a perspective of what an older foster youth feels when transitioning into a new home. Its purpose is to shed light on how that affects youth, and how caregivers can approach having a new young adult in their family. The Teen Success Agreement accompanied by this letter should assist both roles involved with fostering a person between the age of twelve and twenty one.
20 Oct 2015 A letter from America to young people in foster care Dear Youth
11 Jan 2015 My foster dad became the only adult male figure in my life to take an interest in me as a young man This week it’s Barnardo's Fostering & Adoption Week, and the theme this year is aimed at young people in care. As a specialist recruiter of foster carers, I am pleased to see fostering agencies bring more focus to older children because they need love just as much as younger children, and yet far fewer people apply to be assessed to foster this age group.
31 Oct 2014 We are modelling adulthood to the young people we work with Our job is to help our care leavers succeed. Most often when we say this, we’re talking about them being happy, confident adults who can maintain good relationships, enjoy their own family life and experience fulfilling work. In recent years, a lot of focus has been placed on the need to help care leavers into work, or on the pathway to work, as early as possible.
30 Oct 2014 This is one of the hardest experiences and decisions a carer will go through emotionally 'When I’m ready' guidance is very vague from the Welsh Assembly, being a new scheme support and direction is very limited. The majority of young people are not ready for this transition emotionally or financially and seems a big strain both on the child and the carers. Remuneration is poor - carer/supported lodgings provider post 18 is £140 per week and the child is expected to pay £15 directly to the carers, budget their own money and cater for provision, i.e. lunches, clothes, toiletries etc.

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