Coun­cil backs care stigma cam­paign

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil is sup­port­ing a na­tional cam­paign aimed at chal­leng­ing the stigma of be­ing in care.

Launched by the Who Cares? Scot­land char­ity, a se­ries of posters are be­ing dis­played in work­places, schools and on so­cial me­dia, fea­tur­ing nurses, stu­dents, of­fice work­ers, vol­un­teers and a whole range of other peo­ple who have been in care.

Ev­ery­one fea­tured in the posters is a mem­ber of the char­ity and have used their own suc­cesses as pos­i­tive role mod­els to in­spire other young peo­ple who are or have been in care. Each poster in­cludes a quote from them about a time when they had ex­pe­ri­enced stigma as a re­sult of their care sta­tus.

And some of the posters were fea­tured at a cam­paign launch event in Hamil­ton, at­tended by the coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion, Jim Gil­hooly, and Liz Laf­ferty, child and fam­ily man­ager, along with young peo­ple from the area.

Work that the char­ity does with those grow­ing up in care has shown that some young peo­ple have been re­fused pri­vate ten­an­cies be­cause their pre­vi­ous ad­dress has been a chil­dren’s home; some young peo­ple have been asked at job in­ter­views if they are go­ing to be any trou­ble be­cause they are in fos­ter care; and that en­tire com­mu­ni­ties have united to pre­vent some young peo­ple from liv­ing in their area.

More than 80 per cent of young peo­ple are taken into care be­cause they have ex­pe­ri­enced abuse and ne­glect and yet still re­port feel­ing judged in school and in their com­mu­nity.

The cam­paign aims to change those per­cep­tions and show Scot­land that young peo­ple in care need sup­port from ev­ery part of so­ci­ety.

Duncan Dun­lop, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Who Cares? Scot­land said: “In com­mu­ni­ties right across the coun­try, care ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple still don’t feel able to be them­selves.

“It’s time to change that once and for all.”

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