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It's time for people to recognise the assumptions they make about those in care – and challenge them

Who Cares? Scotland member Carmel Jacob, responds to Call 7 of our 25 Calls campaign. Carmel is a member of a representative group of Care Experienced people called ‘The Collective’ and explains her hopes for how they will be part of the changes to come.

Call 7: Support the aims and work of the Care Review – making changes to improve care now and in future

For 40 years, Who Cares? Scotland has held voluntary relationships with care experienced people across Scotland, which are independent from statutory services.  We started listening in 1979 to the views, hopes and dreams of children and young people – and we haven’t stopped listening since.

Our vision is to do everything we can to secure a lifetime of equality, respect and love for Care Experienced people. Care Experienced people have told us that they want to be part of the change and that they want to take control of their own narrative. This is why we launched ‘The Collective’.

This group, made up entirely of Care Experienced people, is responsible for delivering Who Cares? Scotland’s vision of a Lifetime of Equality, Respect & Love, speaking out on behalf of Who Cares? Scotland’s members and influencing decision makers at a global and national level.

Carmel is part of The Collective. Below she shares her reflections on why change is needed, who The Collective are and her hopes for what they will change together:

 “Care experienced individuals are evidenced to have poorer outcomes than their non-care experienced peers from both an educational, mental health and wellbeing perspective. Moreover, this evidenced disadvantage is significant. 90% of children enter care for their own protection. It’s not their fault. Imagine that, through no fault of your own being statistically predicted to have poorer outcomes across all aspects of your life.

The Scottish Government prioritises equity. They challenge those working with our country’s most vulnerable children to contribute to the closure of this gap and strive to better the outcomes of children growing up in care, a group that comprises a mere 0.27% of the population. It seems achievable and The Collective believes that it is.

A better future however requires culture change, at a national level. The impoverished trajectory of the lives of care experienced children has been accepted for too long, it has been expected for too long. The Collective consists of a group of care experienced individuals from different backgrounds of different ages who strive to represent the wider narrative of this population. The Collective is about hope. Hope for a care system that believes in the potential of the children that have no choice but to depend on it. A care system that provides a sense of belonging and safety and stands-up for its children, in the same way that any biological parent would.

We hope that people can acknowledge the assumptions that they make about those in care and challenge them. We want people to believe in us. We may need additional support, but we are equally as capable of great things when that support is provided timely and proportionately. We no longer want to feel different or disadvantaged. We want to contribute to society and realise our potential.”

Carmel is a member of Who Cares? Scotland and of The Collective. She is responding here to Call 7 of our 25 Calls campaign contributed by Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Independent Care Review in Scotland, "Support the aims and work of the Care Review – making changes to improve care now and in future."

Keep up with what Carmel and the rest of The Collective achieve this year by visiting the Who Cares? Scotland website and following on Twitter at @whocaresscot

About the author

Carmel Jacob is a member of Who Cares? Scotland and of a group of Care Experienced people, 'The Collective'

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Call 7

Support the aims and work of the Care Review – making changes to improve care now and in future

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25 Calls campaign

Find out more about the 25 Calls campaign, view press coverage and read further responses

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