We invited care leavers from across the country to come together virtually during the lockdown to create a collaborative poem about how they define care. Here is the result.

#definecare

Foster care is nothing like Tracey Beaker

Social workers changing all the time

Having to tell my story again and again

Authors of no authority, yet they know best

 

Social workers, alcoholism, LAC reviews

What was lacking was love

A misguided path to independence

And a consequence of a childhood betrayed

 

Care is having financial assistance thrown at a situation

When it isn’t always the answer

My PlayStation was imagination

Dream cast new realities to avoid the thought of isolation

It’s OK to say; “Hey, I need some help, I’m not OK this day”

 

Care is isolation

Care is loneliness

But care has more than one definition

Care is many things

It’s love and it’s loss

It’s fear and it’s security

It’s hurt, but it’s resilience

 

Care is love

Care is kindness

Care is passion that will never die

Care gave me a safe space to grow up in

 

Care is hope

A chance to allow someone who cares to look after me

My care experience was the birth of my new life

I care for others will love and compassion

 

I was cared for as a stranger and accepted as family

You see, I define care as an asset to humanity

When harnessed and properly understood

A care leaver’s vulnerability can be like a superpower

 

Being in care meant that I was different

But my differences gave me a new family

My friends, my people, my world

My differences gave me a life I never dreamt of having

 

True care is hidden in bureaucracy

But true care will shine a light.

 

Thank you to everyone who took part:

Alicia, Benjamin, Carla, Casey, Chloe, CPositivista, Danielle, David, Eleanor, Jai, Keeley, Kim, Nils, Paris, Ric, Rosie, Sophia, and Tychique.