We must not forget that Care Experience is lifelong.
Good Afternoon Conference,
It’s great to join you all, albeit virtually, to take part in our annual conference. I would first like to start by echoing the resolution’s praise for the Scottish Government's work in improving the care system in Scotland.
I myself, as a Care Experienced young woman, have directly benefited from changes made so far to improve the lives of people like me. It is because of these changes that I have now started University and I was one of the 1000 Care Experienced people our leader, Nicola Sturgeon, met with and listened to.
The work already done serves as a foundation in achieving a lifetime of equality, respect and love for Care Experienced people in Scotland. But, as this resolution points out, there is still much to be done to ensure this goal is achievable.
I was taken into care when I was 15 years old. My brother was taken into care when I was 8, my sister when I was 10. Care for my family is an intergenerational cycle that has touched the lives of many of my relatives. And, as it stands, the responsibility to break that cycle is on me. I’m 22 years old. I have no intention of having children any time soon. But the lifetime impact of being in care means that I think about my ability to parent all the time, because of my care experience. I already fear that I will not be able to break the cycle of care for my children and I feel an enormous amount of pressure that causes great anxiety whenever I think of a family of my own.
Conference, it doesn’t have to be like this. This resolution calls on the investment in supporting families who are struggling. This is fundamental in making every child experience the kind of childhood we would want for our own.
Being a parent when the money doesn’t stretch far enough, when the house you have is overcrowded or when you are dealing with the trauma of your own childhood in care is extremely difficult.
If we truly are committed to improving the lives of Care Experienced people in this country, we must not forget that care experience is lifelong. We carry this with us for our entire lives. Friends, by investing in proactive measures for families that need support, we will build on the work already done, and the work achieved thus far by the Care Review, and will achieve our ambition to be the best place in the world to grow up.
We have to strive to do everything that is possible to keep families together. I bear the burden of the lifelong consequences of when this doesn’t happen.
So conference, please support the resolution.