A Care Leaver's Perspective - Top 10 Tips for Social Workers

COAR have created a list of 10 points that I think looked after children want you to know - from a care leavers perspective.

1. When we are out in public, please don’t bring attention to us with ID badges and money bags. “Can I have a receipt please”, coupled with your bright carer badge makes us feel embarrassed and like people are judging us, which they probably are due to the stigmatisation of our care status.

2. Taking us to McDonald’s and thinking it’s an open pass for engagement is outdated. It’s going to take more than a McFlurry to build a relationship with us.

3. We are not like your children - please stop using comments such as “if my child did that”, it’s not comparable.

4. Whatever your shift pattern, we can’t go home and we don’t want to hear how much you can’t wait to go home and see your family when your shift ends because we so wish we could do the same.

5. Sure, your holiday abroad looked lovely, we wish we could go. Maybe keep the annual leave photos for friends and family.

6. Briefcases, formal wear and piles of paperwork are intimidating and makes us not want to talk to you. Cant you try and be more on our level?

7. Just because we have said that we understand something, it doesn’t mean that we do, maybe we are embarrassed of not understanding. Please double check and ask us to demonstrate the understanding rather than taking “mhm” as a valid response.

8. We don’t want to hear about your other “cases” and we don’t want to be made to feel like one, we are humans.

9. We aren’t naughty, we are reacting to everything that we have learnt and these are natural responses.

10. Please stop writing in anger when we do something that doesn’t match your values, it reflects badly on us. Take a moment away, reflect on what’s happened and then come back and write later.

#people #engagement #writing #stereotypes #stigma #lookedafter #youngpeople