Even though I don't live with them anymore, I still look to Marian and Carl as my parental figures. I've grown to realise how amazing they both are and it's so nice to always know they're still at the end of the phone. They don't act like fostering is a job, and don't treat anyone differently in terms of making young people feel a part of their family.
Why Are Foster Children Treated Like They Have Problems? For Me, Fostering Has Been A Positive Experience
My name is Mahyar, I am 18 years old and I came to the UK in April, 2015 from Iran with my mother and older sister. When I was 16, my mother passed away, and so my sister and I were taken into care by social services and soon we were placed with TACT foster carer Georgie.
As someone with Spina Bifida and a wheelchair user, I felt my first two foster families saw me purely through my disability. I remember one day I was eating dinner with my carer, and she just stared at me, when I looked at her she asked: "Did you have polio or something?". That memory has stuck with me.
Alarmingly, the new system of Universal Credit does not seem to be improving the lot of many care leavers - particularly those with disabilities or children of their own. For example, a 21-year-old whose disability limits their capability for work and who rents a one-bed flat from a housing association, could lose half of their disposal income making a new claim under Universal Credit compared to the old system.
Supporting peer-to-peer problem solving, with young people empowered to help each other, is a concept I think could be incredibly powerful. I'm left wondering what other solutions this simple, and very human concept could help to solve.
The number of young people in care in the UK has soared to a 30 year high of 94,396 - that's 145 for every MP in the House of Commons. Of course, that rise means the number leaving care is also increasing, many of them having faced unimaginable trauma including abuse and neglect.
We support these children through services ranging from work in schools, where youngsters learn it's okay to talk and ask for help, to trauma focused practice. Through all our work we make them realise there is help out there, not just on International Children's Day but every day.
It's that time of year when households everywhere will have recently received new council tax bills. While council tax funds
I was always writing when I was growing up in care. Not just creative writing, but also writing lots of letters to my social workers and to charities about my situation and what should be happening. I believe that all children in care want to write their story. It gives back some form of control, as when you're in care everything is written about you in your social services file which you don't always see. This builds a drive within to get our stories heard.
We should remember these young people, through no fault of their own, have often had a very rough start in life. Despite that, they can be forced to become independent much younger than other children.