It is National Care Leavers Week from 23rd October, and TACT is using it as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions made by care experienced people.
All care experienced people have the right to have their voices heard, so that we can improve the current level of support for them, and the quality of life they experience beyond the care system. We also want to change for the better, society’s perception of people who have been in care. To that end, TACT’s wonderful care experienced people will be sharing their stories throughout the week. Today it is Kassie, and you can read her story here
TACT care experienced people enter the care system when they are children for a wide variety of reasons including neglect, abuse, loss of parents, or fleeing their native country as an asylum seeker. However, what they all have in common, is that their lives were turned around thanks to loving foster carers who supported them during their journey to adulthood and beyond. We know that lots of our foster carers continue to be an important source of guidance and support for their former foster children after they leave care, and often they remain integral members of their families.
TACT recognises that leaving care is a challenging time for young people, especially as many will not have the help of a supportive family network. As a child in care they are surrounded by professionals dedicated to their welfare, but once they leave care that level of support fades away. So TACT has set up a program called TACT Connect that provides a model of support for care experienced young people, enabling them to achieve positive outcomes.
TACT Connect is a service for care leavers that has built an inspiring network of care experienced people that support and celebrate one another, while keeping in touch with TACT. Connect offers the chance to meet other care experienced people, learn and access new skills and support in reaching their aspirations. By becoming a member, care experienced people receive newsletters packed full of helpful advice and shared experiences, plus invites to events, and the opportunity to be involved in shaping the scheme and access to various other opportunities.
Mark Riddell – National Advisor for Care Leavers has welcomed TACT Connect.
Mark said: ”Initiatives like TACT Connect are important because they are led by the voices of care experienced young people. This is a new concept and it would be good to see similar work happening elsewhere in the country. We need to be ambitious about how we support care experienced people, and TACT Connect is a really good starting point.”
If you are inspired to consider fostering and want to help vulnerable children who have had a difficult start to their lives please click here or call 0330 123 2250