In this blog, I am going to be talking about what it is like for myself as a care leaver to be able to do public speaking at events and in front of new potential foster parents and the local authorities corporal parenting board. From this blog, I hope that its readers might start wanting to talk about their experiences and help making a difference within their own local authorities.
As someone who has gone through the fostering system and now exiting into independent living, I have got many different types of experiences that I can present and pass on to other people, so when being able to do public speaking and to talk about my different experiences, it makes me feel humble as it allows me to let other people know from my own perspective what being in the fostering system and being a child in care is like.
Following this, when presenting and doing public speaking it can sometimes feel very nerve racking and extremely frightening as you never really know who you are going to be chatting to and more importantly what standing the audience has, but at the same time whenever I do this, it makes me feel happy and feel that it is an honour to talk in front of an audience that can help change things for the better.
during my time in the fostering system, there was this time that I was asked to give a talk in front of a conference in Southampton, where I was asked to talk about my experiences of being in the fostering system and what the system has done for me. This was an exciting pleasure to talk at this conference as there was a lot of professionals of different local authorities and social workers from across the Southwest and the Isle of Wight were there.
The fact of being able to showcase my own experiences and let members of the conference ask me questions about my experience made me feel that I was able to make a difference as everyone at the conference wanted to know more, but more importantly it came across as they wanted to gather as much knowledge as possible from myself and others presenting at the conference to help them come up with ways to change and evolve the local authority that they work within.
In my opinion it is a vital issue for care experienced people to share and talk about their experiences because when we look at many local authorities across the UK wanting to change what they are doing and to try and fix the issues that are wrong with the system, talking to care experienced people are a great way to find out about these issues, because having this information and seeing first-hand how the current structure has effected young people is one of the best ways to know what needs to be fixed and how to do this otherwise there’s no way of knowing what needs to be done.
So, a message for young people and care experienced people…. Being in the fostering system and being a care leaver gives you amazing and powerful experiences that people need to hear about especially regarding your local authorities. For things to change, we need to share our experiences and get people to listen and realise that things need to change as much as possible. So, if you get a chance and your local authority asks for your opinions and wants to know about your experiences, do you best to share as the more people who know, the more likely things will change.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger