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’m a 20 year old mum who was a LAC (Looked after child) and now under the leaving care team. Some of my hobbies and interests include, cooking, baking, drawing, and as sad as it sounds but cleaning! I’m also highly interested in history, it was my favourite subject at school and even now I still look at new areas of history!
When I first came to the care team I was 16, I had lost my job, been kicked out, and wasn’t coping mentally, I was moved in to a supported hostel to get me back on my feet. You can never listen to someone’s experience because it’s different for everyone, I had ups and downs as everyone does but the experience 9/10 times was pleasant!
Going from being in care to being on my own two feet was difficult but I was well supported, I was assisted with a move in to supported accommodation which I had my own flat, to start it was horrible but I was assured the whole time that I was doing well and eventually loved it! It was even better too being able to just relax on my own! Being a care leaver has helped me so much, I e received so much support, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the amazing team, I wish I could say I was exaggerating but I’m not when I say that the team has quite literally saved my life.
The whole time I’ve been shown that I’m not alone and that all I have to do is pick up the phone, I’ve been pushed in the right direction and I’m finally getting the extended help that I need which I wouldn’t get on my own in the past, but my workers have been amazing in that area, if anything they’ve been amazing in general!
Like I said at the start I’m now a mum, I introduced a little girl in to the world with my amazing partner, I was kicked out from one family, but now I’ve made my own and it’s such a blessing! I’m also a volunteer with NCT which is a team that supports families in the first 1,000 days and it’s so wonderful! In the future I’m looking to either go back to college and study history or possibly catering and maybe start my own baking business.
I am 19 years old, I have been in care since I was 5 years old, I have been in 3 foster homes but the 4th one was * and * and I really enjoyed living with them they took really good care of me and I really liked staying with them until I was 18 years old and then I moved to *’s which I didn’t really got on with and it wasn’t a great experience we didn’t get on as well as I did in *’s.
My hobbies and interests are I love spending time with ** which is my new carer I always like listening to my favourite music on my Alexa, I always going to stay with my mum not that often because she lives so far away I always like watching Tiktok on my phone and doing some of the dances.
I was 5 when I came into foster care I was taken off my real mum at 5. This was very difficult for me because my mum did everything for me and now I am doing everything myself and I am getting there but there are things that I still can’t do but we are working on them.
When I had to leave * was so hard because I loved it there and she did most of the things that I am now doing myself for me but now I am an adult and I am doing more things for myself.
I am currently in college in Wrexham doing a little bit of everything but in the future I would like to work with deaf people because I love practicing and learning and teaching people sign language and people think that I am amazing because I can do sign language so I would like to do something with that skill because there is not a lot of people that can sign properly and I would like to help people learn more.
I think that also more resources should be available for deaf children and deaf adults or any deaf person like if it is a child more things for them to play with to know there alphabet better or writing or even signing whist reading a book.
At the moment I am living with someone called ** and she I so lovely and sweet she makes me laugh and we have lots of fun together and go on holiday together and play games and she helps me with the things I find difficult and try and make me try and improve on those skills. My Nanna is a good help to she tried and helps me with things too like cooking my own tea and making sure I clean up after myself and wash the dishes I have used.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org, 01978295320
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