Since our first Twitter conversation, I’ve been thinking about Aoife’s PhD research, which she undertook at the Rees Centre, and which questioned: What is the relationship between carer involvement in education and school performance of children in foster and kinship care? One of the key findings suggested that aspiration encourages children’s school performance. I wondered if there were any key findings from the first #CareConvos on Twitter.
In total teachers were the most significant people to those that took part, 62% in total. So teachers out there, be very proud that those daily connections that you make are so important to a lot of people out there and give them belief for an aspirational future.
There was talk of different pathways, but also the belief that a significant teacher encouraged many people to go into education, though there was no one route. Talk emerged of many different pathways. Looking after children, supporting and inspiring them led to strength and determination in later years.
Again, relationships are key. Recognising that care experienced people do not tend to follow the traditional educational pathway was important for people. Listening to young people is important as was support for post 25s. In amongst the responses, wellbeing and the importance of self care i.e. taking time out if needed.
A stable loving environment. Recognising different educational pathways and support post 25 came up again. Flexibility and recognition of past experiences for those who want to study was important as was recognising that care experience is for life.
Lots of ideas for those that write policy or look after children in care. Top tips: Stop moving children from placement to placement; have a consistent adult in their lives and always question: would this be good enough for my child?
We were very grateful to those who shared their experiences during the chat. We acknowledged that this isn’t always easy. We would welcome anyone’s thoughts or feedback on their experience and how we might mitigate this going forward.
#CareConvos is now looked after by the Care Experienced Young People’s Network (YPN) which is a small group of care experienced (CEP) young people, campaigning for improved support for care leavers.
You can find out more about their fantastic work here.