This week, WeMindTheGap is marking National Care Leavers’ Week by raising awareness of the challenges young people face when they are care experienced. These are the reflections of Rebecca, a WeDiscover Skipper, who has supported care leavers through both the WeDiscover and WeGrow programmes.

The acronym ‘LAC’, which stands for ‘looked after child’, is widely used across statutory services but is increasingly being seen as a problematic term. When said aloud, LAC holds the potential to dehumanise and stigmatise, reducing children to a label and reinforcing a belief that they are lacking in some way.

Through WeMindTheGap’s support of care leavers, we’ve found these young people to be anything but lacking. Despite the challenges they’ve faced early in life, we’ve seen first-hand their resilience and ambition to succeed. These are just a few examples of those individuals:

  • One young woman who took part in the WeGrow programme secured her dream job as a social worker
  • A young man on WeDiscover was able to put his entrepreneurial skills to use and start his own business
  • Another young woman on WeGrow was able to get into employment and support her own children

Our WeDiscover and WeGrow programmes allow young people to develop their skills in a loving and caring environment, providing employment opportunities as well as new adventures and experiences.

When other services end for care leavers at ages 18 and 25, our dedicated support continues through our lifelong WeBelong community. We believe care experienced young people have the potential to thrive in life, not just survive, and we’ll continue to work alongside them in challenging negative stereotypes and to celebrate their successes this National Care Leavers’ Week!

#EndTheCareCliff #NCLW

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