IMO (“in my opinion”) exists to celebrate the achievements of teens in care and care leavers and to share their stories, experiences and advice with others in a similar situation. We aim to challenge perceptions about the care system, and raise the aspirations and ambitions of young people with care experience.
We recently asked teens in care and care leavers to write a postcard to their future selves – ‘Dear future me’, about where they’d like to be and what they hope to be doing in ten years’ time.
Over 100 children in care councils, care leaver groups, children’s homes and other organisations working directly with teens in care and care leavers took part, and we were blown away by the number of responses we received. To celebrate Care Day 2020 on February 21, and the start of a new decade, we’re sharing a small selection of the responses we received from all over the country.
What struck us most from reading these postcards is how ambitious, thoughtful, insightful and resilient young people with care experience are. They wrote openly about the stability they hope to have in the future; aspiring to be financially independent, own their own homes, and be in loving, stable relationships. Having children, and keeping them safe and providing the best for them, was a common theme running throughout the responses. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, ambitious career aspirations were dominated by a desire to work with and support children, as foster carers, social workers, teachers, and doctors. Many of the responses prioritised self-care, wellbeing, and looking after themselves and others around them, and they all had one thing in common – an unwavering sense of positivity, resilience, and hope for the future.
Dear future me…
“Did you finish university? Did you build healthy relationships? Did you find your self-worth? And most importantly, are you happy?”