Posted on: 28 July 2023

“If it’s not good enough for your child – it’s not good enough for us”.

This week, three young people ran a training session for our staff at Beaufort House, talking about their individual experiences of being in care.

Jack, Beanie and Zainab spoke about living in Hillingdon and what it's like to be a young person in care, but also what it means for professionals working with vulnerable children and young people.

“We want to share our thoughts and feelings, but it’s also what it means for you in your job,” says Jack.

Jack remains in the care system today. Jack’s foster carers made a big impact on him, and he benefited greatly from talking to someone who got to know him and his experiences.

Care-experienced young people invest a great deal of importance into relationships with care workers they feel they can trust.

“Each journey and way of coping is different. Get to know us, not our family history and let us be involved in the decisions you make.

“It’s a tough job but it can make a world of difference. There are ups and downs of being in care, and we don’t always make the best choices. But help us to understand the options.”

Here are some of their tips for professionals:

  • Smile, be friendly, be honest and on time
  • I want you to understand that silence is awkward and to ask me more questions
  • Don’t just focus on your questions, but have a normal conversation with us
  • Talk to me about my feelings 
  • I want you to play games with me, not just fill in a lot of forms
  • Take us out
  • Be yourself

Staff participated in a range of activities including human bingo, a privilege race and a game of would you rather.

Beanie, who has left care and is now independent, said: “It’s about thinking of yourself as a corporate parent. Help me to live a safe and stable life.”

Thank you to Hillingdon Council for facilitating this training.

Hillingdon council run the training every summer break and further details can be found here.