A care leaver is a young person between the ages of 16 and 25 who has at some point been looked after away from their family.

The period between being in care and then becoming a care leaver can be a very daunting experience, especially at such a young age.


As part of Care leavers week we have invited some of our young care leavers to share their experiences, advice, their stories, and their plans and aspirations for the future.

We have been extremely moved by some of the young people’s accounts and other than small changes to in some cases maintain anonymity, the inspiring words spoken are by the young care leavers themselves.

All care leavers were asked the same questions, and the answers show that their personal circumstances and personalities have meant that they have all had quite different experiences to each other.

We hope that their words will offer comfort, advice and inspiration to other young adults in similar situations…

I am a 19yr Care Leaver who has been in care for about 4 years.

The reason I was brought into care was due to my family guardian becoming increasingly abusive to me till the point where he would physically attack and strangle me, due to what I believe to be his deteriorating mental capacity. I’d rather not ramble about how I ended up with my family guardian, Sorry.

The method of which I was taken into social services and thereafter foster care was quite unceremonious, as it was a sudden turn in my life achieved by a little remark to my teaching assistant, who queried why I had a bruise on my face where I said simply, ‘my family guardian punched me’.

This remark resulted in me being swiftly taken to the nearest hospital with my closest staff members who supported me. I felt betrayed when they explained to me that I can’t go back to my family guardian as it is a risk to my safety. At this time, I realised that I suffered from derealization of my own tragic situation from when I was taken from my family guardian after being with him since birth. Bear in mind his mental faculties (I believe) were only declining when I was 8 and that’s when the problems started.

Just to note I have been with 2 Foster Carers of whom I will call *A and *B for confidentiality.

I came into care when I was 14 and have been in care for 4 years.

My initial foster carer, *A provided me placement right after I was taken away from my family guardian.

Whilst someone who I would consider to be Eccentric, *A provided me with the basic knowledge of tidying myself, showering, basic hygiene. She also took away my videogames which I was reliant on to distract against my depression. In doing so I was a bit resentful, however after 6 months I relished going outside to doing farmwork as a new healthier distraction. I do wish however I did have some online activity so I could keep in touch with my friends.

Whilst being with *A I was provided a Social Worker, I will call her *C, whilst I got along OK with her, she and *A seemed to detest each other which made things difficult and awkward when they had to exchange information about me. It would have been a lot more easier being in a placement with a social worker if the Social Worker not only got on well with me, but also the Foster Carer.

My placement with *A sadly ended when her father passed away and I had to bear witness to his suffering due to his Degenerative disorder. What seems to be a act of retribution (From My Point Of View) *C took advantage of the situation and deemed it unsafe for me to be with *A, due to her eccentricity and my apparent depression after her father’s death I was placed into ‘Rest Bite’ with *B for 2 days.

These 2 days ended up being 3 years as I got along well with everyone living with *B, it also helped a little bit that I was given my games back to act like a ‘normal’ teenager. The 3 years I spent with B* and everyone seemed to have gone fast now that I look back on it.

When I was put in placement with *B, *C was replaced by someone else, she opposite to *C did get along with *B and me quite well which made life 10x Easier. To skip a bit near the end of my placement I was provided a Leave Care Worker of whom has and will still help me with everything up till this day. He has been amazing in providing me support and we get along with each other extremely well informally as well.

When I transitioned to independent living, I was initially homesick, I felt lonely, but when I had access to the internet, I was able to talk with my close friends and my previous carers with ease.

After that, life on my own became a bit more manageable. However due to me moving from a family of 7 to just me, the lack of sound and general noise was unsettling, to counter this I ended up listening to music and started singing/humming to myself whilst cooking and tidying.

Initially I ended up living off ready meals and cold food from the nearest premier. Whilst in care, my carer incentivised me to start cooking for myself, but I only took that advice near the end of my foster placement. I wish that I made food for myself years prior to independent living where I didn’t have to worry about paying for ingredients, as now when I am cooking, I don’t have room for experimentation otherwise Ill end up starving myself.

Looking back, the initial living off ready meals was extremely costly and I could have spent that money elsewhere and saved up.

My academical interests are within the body and its immune system, I am greatly interested in how the immune system and diseases combat each other. It is sort of a child fantasy which I’d love to indulge in. My interest in the immune system will hopefully lead me to do Masters in immunology.

My general hobbies can be seen as stereotypical, I enjoy playing video games online and lesser so Sports. I do however, like going on brisk walks. My more niche hobbies involve playing Chess, and more recently learning how to play Shog (Japanese Chess), I also have a collection of Rubix cubes which I like to solve in my spare time.

Currently I am in University Studying a BSc In Biomedical Science, as mentioned in my hobbies and interests I would like to Study at a MSc Level for Immunology. If I were to achieve my degrees, I would want to work somewhere which specifically focuses on the immune system, I do not know what specific job it will be, but job opportunities will be within pharmaceuticals, becoming my own research Scientist, or just be a Biomedical Scientist with Immunology as my forte.

If you are a care leaver and would like advice please contact: The Leaving Care Team on 01978295610

If you would like more information on becoming a foster carer please contact: Taylor Downes  01978295316 , Taylor.Downes@wrexham.gov.uk

If you would like to find more information on offering supported lodgings, please contact: Sara Jones –  sara.jones@wrexham.gov.uk, 01978295320

If you’re looking for a new career and want to help people in your community, a job in social care could be the right move.