Karyn's story

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:57

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Hi my name is Karyn. I was first moved to a children’s home for a short period of three months. After the three month period I was placed in another children’s home. 

My first placement was a bit strange because I had never been in a children's home before and felt awkward and nervous. The staff were OK although I didn't get the best chance to get to know them. When I moved to my second placement I hated it at first. The decoration and building seemed old and it wasn't homely - it looked more like a residential unit for old people. The staff in were really friendly and made me feel welcome but still I didn't like it when I didn't get my own way and we rowed a lot. 

The opportunities when I was in care weren't great. I didn't get a chance to go on school trips or have access to internet to find things I could get involved in. We did get a holiday to Alton Towers which was great fun and brought us all together. I was encouraged to go to school and punishment was given if we didn't attend. Although this never gave me any motivation and I left school with only the three GCSEs, I put effort in. At the time I wasn't aware of how important this would be in my later life. When I turned 16 and left school I was told to get a job or keep studying and so I had to go to college to get the GCSEs I hadn't put any effort into. I really wish there had been someone there to encourage me more to do well in school and the reasoning for this. Then during my studies I had a baby which made studying harder. 

The support to complete the work if I found it difficult was great however not enough support in school was given to me by anyone. I am now doing a Community Youth Work degree and I’m due to finish this next year. Overall my relationships with staff were good although I didn't find it easy to trust anyone to begin with. 

For young people in care today I would really encourage them to really take notice of their education. I always take an interest in their education and ask them if they need any help with this. I feel that if someone had shown an interest in my education, I would have been quicker at getting to where I wanted to go. 

In 21 years from now I would like to see children's homes a lot smaller and have less staff. This would make it feel more like home and better outcomes for children may occur if there is more security. For each young person in care, I would assign someone that can help a young person with school work and short smart education goals to improve motivation. If interest in education is shown then young people who are in the care system may have better opportunities and useful grades