Things you might be worried about
We know that being in care is a big change and you might be worried about these changes. While you’re in care it’s important that you are able to keep doing things you did before. It's important to keep ties to the things that are important to you and your identity. But no matter where you live there are going to be things you might not be able to do while you are in care.
Here are some worries that other young people have had.
It is your choice whether you want to tell other people that you are in care. Other people can be nosy but it’s up to you.
It’s your private information and you can choose who to tell about your situation and who not to.
You will be able to have your important personal belongings. If you do not have all the things you would like, then ask your social worker or carers so you they can help you to get them.
It’s important that you have all your special bits and bobs!
Piercings and tattoos are age restricted. So this will be different for everyone depending on your age and what you want piercing. You need parents’ permission for things like ear piercing up until you are 16 years old and with other piercings or tattoos it’s 18 years old.
If you want a piercing you need to talk it through with your social worker so you can all decide together with your parents what’s best. The reality is you might have to wait until you’re 18, just like you might do if you lived at home.
Most of your time your carers can decide if you can go and stay with friends or if friends can stay with you.
Remember it’s their job to keep you safe so they will do some checks, just like any other parent would do before you can go.
If you don’t know who can decide for you, ask your social worker or carer.
It’s up to carers to decide on internet access and this will depend on your age and your safety. Sadly, there are things on the web that are bad, and your carers are responsible for keeping you safe from these things.
However, your technology will not be restricted for no reason and you should be involved in conversations to agree this.
Video games and movies
There are 2 parts to this.
There are age ratings. Your carer is not allowed to let you play a game or watch a movie if you are under the age rating. Age ratings are for your safety and it is illegal to go against these warnings.
Even with games and movies that are fine for your age, you might still hear adults asking you not to be online for too long!
You are not alone. There are other young people who are going through similar situations and you can make new friends in meetings and activities organised by our Children in Care Council.
They are called Say it Loud Say it Proud, or SilSiP for short.
It’s not your fault
It’s not your fault that you’re in care. There are lots of different situations that can affect whether a child can live at home or not. It’s an adult’s job to keep you safe.
If you need more information about why you’re in care you can ask your carer or social worker to explain it to you. You might hear this called Life Journey work.
Worries about school
Everyone is different, and you’re in charge of your future and can achieve anything you want to.
There are lots of people who will help you to think about what you’d like to do and plan how to get there. For example, your carers, social workers and the virtual school.
You can talk about your hopes and plans for your future at your Child Looked After Review meeting.
Worries about a residential home
Some young people in care live in a residential home. What is it like?
"Mine is a massive house with loads of rooms, everyone has their own room and you can decorate it how you want to.
"It’s just like being in a massive family, mine is an all-girls home but everywhere is different. Sometimes we help to cook, other times the staff do it.
"You might have different adults looking after you each day. There is always someone you can talk to and someone to support you if you need it.
"It’s NOT like Tracy Beaker!!"