Hi everyone, we're really happy to see you here! My name is Antony and I am 34 years old. I spent the majority of my childhood in care - living in a number of both foster and residential placements, with some being better than others. I didn't always find it easy though, and at times, you could say, I went off the rails a little bit. I guess, I was missing that stability that a family and a stable home and offer.
At sixteen, I began to live independently and I found it really hard at first but eventually, I got past it. Some years later, I went to university but dropped out. I felt I was learning life as I went along and still needed some guidance before I could try again. I always knew that I would try again though at some point. Undeterred, I waited over ten years and tried again at university. I recently graduated with a psychology degree and have continued my studies further.
Ideally, I hope to use my studies to help me to work in the Criminal Justice System to try to prevent our young and vulnerable kids in the care system, like I once was, from going down the wrong path. I believe that every young person has the potential, irrespective of circumstances, to be everything and anything they want to be. If nothing else, I hope the conference will show you that there are SOOO many like-minded people who have been through similar experiences and who want to help others through theirs. It's a chance for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to build a strong network of care experienced people, promote empowerment and to make friends.
I wanted to be involved with the 'Care Experience Conference - Past, Present & Future' because I believe it is important to give those with care experience a platform to use their voices for the greater good of our future generations of looked after children and those leaving care. It is also a brilliant way of connecting people from all stages of their care journey. I feel that it is only right that to ensure services are fit for purpose, there needs to be input from the people those services are designed to help and protect. I acknowledge that these services don't always get it right and that's why it is imperative and more important than ever to collectively change them for the better. I look forward to seeing you all in April next year at the Conference. Take care Antony