There has been a growing and developing conversation within the care experienced community for some time around support, connection and resonance for those of us who are a long way from being young people/young adults. The term ‘care leaver’ has become synonymous and deeply entrenched with whether or not there is an entitlement to services via legislation rather than any kind of meaningful terminology for many. I personally have always found it incredibly challenging as a label as I have been many things in my nearly 50 years on the planet other than a child who left a system. And besides, we would never describe anyone as a ‘family leaver’ now would we?
Settling comfortably on care experienced as enabled me to develop more connections, more understanding of impact and a clarity of experience. Having worked around vulnerable children and families for three decades, a good chunk of which has been specifically with and around looked after children and those leaving care, this identified emergence of need is a gap that needs filling.
As the numbers of children being looked after rises (over 72,000 recorded in 2017), those leaving that system will do so too. My personal and professional experience along with extensive research, tells me that healing from those early experiences, happens across the life course, rendering the notion of ‘care leaver’ even more absurd as an ideology for anything other than funding entitlement or policy making.
No More Labels is a small response to where we are. I have observed people well into their 30’s and 40’s before being ready to explore what has happened to them, be open about having been looked after away from home and begin the process of healing. I wanted to look at how I could offer online coaching programmes for free that would specifically be written for people who were care experienced. As a coach and a trainer on trauma, resilience and recovery, I know that this knowledge should be in the hands of everyone who needs it.
I put my idea to my marketing team and guess what? Yes. The boss was in care too and is just starting to feel ready to be open about it. He is well into his 30’s. Together we put together a plan and decided to start the charity together to deliver on our dreams. We need 5k to register as a charity, so the fundraising has commenced!
If you feel that this is something you would like to support to get off the ground, then today’s the day! If everyone on this list gave just a pound, we would smash it. Please make your donation here.
John Diamond of The Mulberry Bush is going to be looking at ways that The International Centre for Therapeutic Care can support this project and others that are looking at healing across the life course, creating a growing body of knowledge and resources for care experienced adults for life.
There will be a launch event once we are established and registered to which you are all welcome.
Have a great day!
Biography of Lisa Cherry: