I’m not sure at what age I became aware of all the statistics that I would be fighting against.
To be honest I think I was fighting them before I even became aware of it.
More than anything, I knew that I wanted to do better than what I had came from. Despite what was thrown at me.
My aunt (foster carer) knew my potential. She sat on me when I needed it the most, when at times things got on top of me and I was in a self destructive mode. she often compared me to a swan swimming graciously on the surface of the water but paddling rigorously underneath.
Being the chair of a children in care council, advocating for the wider population, brought to my attention all the issues that children and yp in the care system face and the possibles outcomes.
Without stability, love, education & the right support from legal guardians or a corporate parent, often a looked after child may feel as though they have been neglected in one area or another.
Here are some interesting outcome statistics that children in care face that you may not have been aware of:
1. Looked after children are 4 times more likely to have a special educational need than their peers.
2. Children in care are 4 times more likely than their peers to have mental health difficulties.
3. Former foster youths are more likely than the general population to develop a drug or alcohol dependency.
4. 25% of foster youths are in university by age 19 compared to 41% of the general population.
5. Looked after young people are at greater risk of teenage pregnancy and are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant than other teenagers.
6. 25% of care leavers experience homelessness within 4 years of leaving the care system.
The aim is to close the gap of statistics between children in care and the general population.
Often children and young people in care just need to be supported thoroughly in their area of need, guided, offered opportunities and given a chance.
Love, Akira Kay x