Reflections of the Care Leavers report – Save Our Children.

Evening everyone

I was prompted to write this blog, after reading the well meaning, and in parts, excellent, report published through various LAC and Care Leavers Charities – Save Our Children – concerning missed opportunities to support Care Leavers in The Children’s and Families Bill.

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with the requests of the report, I feel totally let down by these caring Organisations, asking for the age of Care Leavers who need support to be raised to age 25. Allow me a moment to take you through where I was at age 25.

I had 2 happy children, and an ex husband (This was a positive)

I had just started my first paid job, after working for 2 years in a voluntary capacity at my local CAB.

I had read through all 13 volumes, took 6 months, of my Social Services files.

To cope with the above, well deserved I felt at the time, I began to open a bottle of wine every night….

The progression to choosing to open a bottle, or 2, or 3, quickly moved from choice to need..

My head and heart had all but suffocated under the recurring nightmares of my childhood…

Emotionally and spiritually, a breakdown was in the post…..

At 32 it was delivered.

At 38 I have recovered, and continue to recover.

So you see, age 25 as a Care Leaver means absolutely nothing, and actually, although I needed emotional and practical support before this, I needed it far more once I hit the age of 30.

Care Leavers are individual.

If I am able to access support until I reach 25, what happens if my emotional rock bottom happens at 36? I no longer qualify as needing support?

Would I turn my daughter away after the age of 25 – no.

Should I – no.

Where has this age come from? I’m concerned, very, that the continued fight to be recognised as a Care Leaver in need, only until you reach a magical age of 25, by these charities, detracts from the reality above.

I’m also a little angry – I feel not listened to – nothing changes there you may think if reading this as a Care Leaver. But, in my case is not true in all areas. I am being listened to by the non Care Leaver Organisations, and am being listened to by LAC Services, which puzzles me even further.

My fear is, to not listen to the very Care Leavers who you claim to care about – but only until they reach 25 –  breeds complacency and tunnel vision unsustainable strategies.

Kindest

Jenny aka Hackney Child age 38.

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10 thoughts on “Reflections of the Care Leavers report – Save Our Children.

  1. Brilliantly put jenny, This age cut off point has always been an issue with me. even holiday firms now call a 12yr old an adult! Or you cant drink until your 18 but you can get married at 16!!! Care MUST be ongoing. I as an old social worker, I wouldnt dream of saying, sorry I cant hear you ’cause your over 25!!! WTF !!!

  2. Hey there, the idea that there should have been support after leaving care comes as a pleasant revelation to me…I so wish there had been something for me..I can’t describe in words how much I needed help…perhaps denial had a part to play…I was a a survivor after all! I thought I was grown up and streetwise at a very young age, it’s laughable now when I look back at how vulnerable and needy I really was. I remember after my daughter was born (I was 19 ) calling a care home that I was in when I was 14, it had a family unit, I was so desperately alone, frightened and in need of support. I tried to get myself back in care!!!! Unfortunately the facility had closed and was just an administration building, my heart was so heavy after that phone call I was so desperate…ironic really as the whole time I spent in care I ran away at every opportunity! Eventually I was diagnosed with depression and had the support of the medical profession I received weekly OT sessions from a lovely and well meaning therapist we reached a point of stagnation I think and she moved on.
    I could go on really until the present day and I am wondering where the support I perhaps needed would’ve ended, could it be funded, of course I don’t have the answers for that; sometimes I feel hopeless and wonder if I’m permanently damaged by my past and if I’ll ever get to feel how other people look 😉 I haven’t made a typo there, and I’m also aware that all people have their struggles.x

      1. Hey jenny, I would love to meet on Monday 😉 I’ve just called work and I can have the afternoon off! Have you still got my phone number? Text me time and place please xxxx

    1. Bee it is not hopeless. It really shows the isolation out there when people don’t know where to go. Us and Jenny are working on something that may lessen the isolation for children in care and forge strong and real links for people to move on with. We suggest meet with Jenny, she’ll motivate you and set you straight 🙂

      1. B – just messaged you on facebook – I get the way you are feeling, but also know that you are a fantastic mum, and like me, are a survivor. Lets meet on Monday x

  3. Powerful message that needs to be heard and acknowledged. This should be in a broadsheet and not just on your brilliant blog x

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