In this blog, I am going to be talking about what it is like for a care experienced person to use creativity to showcase what life is like for them in foster care. As many of us know life in foster care can be very different for everyone, and one’s experience can be completely different to another, however in this blog, I am going to showcase and talk about my own experience in the fostering system and showcase another side of what it can be like.

During my career as a freelance photographer, I have documented many different events and societal issues, that have a connection to me, and my life but the one that has a close meaning and connection to myself, was the shoot I did about what life was like for me in the fostering system.

A lot of the time , people do not really know what life is like for other people in the fostering system, because there is not a lot of representation of this online or out in the community, when talking to people about what they think the fostering system is all about, they always say that they think the fostering system is the same as what is portrayed on children’s show ‘ Tracy Beaker’ where a lot of people are housed in a boarding house.

For a lot of us in the system, we all know that this is not true, as we have lived through the experience of being in the system, but the reality of showcasing this has always been hard, until I was able to showcase my experience in the form of documentary photography.

Myself as a care experienced person, I have always believed that It is great to showcase our experiences as people need to know what the system is like for us and if there is any sort of issues that needs to be changed or even fixed, as a lot of the time, the system can have a positive effect on us but also a negative effect.

I can remember, that during the time of me documenting my life in the fostering system, there was a few part of the journey that I did not really see before and what made me feel really unhappy, as to begin with I felt that being in foster care was hard and lonely, but everything was going to get better, but the foster home that I was in, it felt that the carers I had did care as they helped a lot, but the environment that I was in with everyone else there was very negative and upsetting.

So, being able to document what my life was like in the fostering system, was a great way to showcase what It is like from one person’s perspective, as a lot of the time we all say it is great or it is bad, but we never really get to see it, so to be able to document and showcase this, was nice but also the people who saw the images were surprised as it gave them a better and stronger opinion of what the system is like but also opened their eyes to the different stories that people have.

So, a message for care experienced people, if you are ever lost or feel that no one is going to listen to how you feel about the system, find a way to document it that is creative to you. Being able to showcase how you feel and what it means to you is a way that people need to see, because the more we can showcase what the system means to us or what is happening in the system, the more we are able to change to opinion of this.

People need to know what we think of the system and how to change it, but the only way we can do this is by showcasing how we feel in a way that is present and personal to us, just like I did with my photography.

By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger.

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