We are delighted to host this guest blog from 19 year old Ian, raising important issues around language and caring for children and young people.
Please let me tell you who I am. My name is Ian and I’m 19 years old. I’m a care experienced young person who has navigated the care system and knows everything. I’m a college student at South Tyneside College studying the internship course. This course is where you do 2 days at college then 2-3 days of work experience at whatever business or organisation you have chosen. I’ve chosen to do my work experience at Together for Children Sunderland (TfC) as I have a good bond with the staff and they know that I can come to them if I need to speak about anything.
What does Cared For and Care Experienced mean?
Well cared for and care experienced are the new terminology that TfC are now requiring everyone to use in our modern times. Young people prefer these wording to the old ways of talking about children in care. This stuff matters a lot and can change how we feel about ourselves.
Here are the meanings of Cared For and Care Experienced.
If you are cared for that means you live in care with a foster carers or in residential care, or sometimes even with your parents, and you are cared for until you officially turn 18 years old.
If you are care experienced that means you are a young person (or even not so young) who has been in care and you know what it’s like.
Please think carefully about the language you use when you are talking about children and young people. It really matters to us. You can read more about this here.
I’d like to tell you about our Change Council?
The Change Council is one of Together For children’s youth voice groups, where young people (12-25 years old) across the city of Sunderland come together and meet up to discuss thing that are happening in the area and things we would like to see changed.
I love attending Change Council and seeing what’s on the agenda for the session when I attend. We talk to the TfC staff, helping the amazing Sunderland community, and helping cared for and care experienced young people every day. Ever since I joined in March 2020, I’ve never looked back on my life as TfC and Change Council have helped me become more confident in myself.
You can follow Ian on Twitter at @PhotographyIan1 as he posts regularly about things that matter to him and shares posts of what Together for Children do. Keep up to date with all his news. Feel free to follow him and ask him anything on Twitter. He will reply when he can.
Thank you for this informative blog, Ian!