ECLCM are very aware that there are a number of surveys floating around for young people to complete to collect even more data about their experience. We are aware of three; all from different agencies. We already have extensive data. We have already have extensive research. We know what the outcomes for young people in and leaving care are and have been since data collection began. We work hard at working together with all the many organisations that there are, but our message is clear.
Young people need urgent help now. One year on since ECLCM started the campaign, the outcomes for many care leavers are the same. Vulnerable young care leavers will die while surveys are being constructed whose findings will be ignored by Governments. We know that young care leavers will die and certainly will suffer, because between us we have 100's of years of personal and professional experience and we have seen it with our own eyes. Surveys for young people to complete, who are coping with the stressful realities of meeting their basic needs while managing their own trauma, do not need to be patronised by ticking boxes on a form collecting yet more information that has no guarantee of ever being acted on.
Can we get 10,000 signatures by Christmas?
Please join us in our mission to extend Staying Put to ALL young people by sharing the petition, writing to your MP, talking to your friends and family about it, raising awareness. On last week'sChannel 4 News debate we heard a young woman describe being placed in 30 placements in 3 months. It was said that this was 'completely unacceptable.' This is so far beyond 'completely unacceptable' that what should have been said on live TV was that this is an utter disgrace!
There was also some good news last week,The Tope Project won the Children & Young People Now awards for care leavers. Congratulations from the ECLCM team for this well-deserved recognition of the work they do. The Topé Project is named after a 23-year-old care leaver who took his own life in 2010. In memory of Topé, this Christmas Day will see 70 young people spending the day socialising, playing games, eating Christmas Dinner and sharing their pain while promoting positivity.
The magic of the Topé Project is spreading across the country. There is the Manchester Christmas Dinner #TCD2014 and the Hackney Christmas Dinner #HCD2014 organised by Lemn Sissay, both creating a wonderful Christmas day for 140 care leavers. If you are a care leaver either in Manchester or London without a Christmas dinner, get in touch.
Contact your local MPs and ask them to put, ‘Staying Put’ on the political agenda. The more people that write, the more likely we will get heard. You can find your local MP here.
On our own, we're good, but together we're amazing!
Thank you and seasons greetings, from the ECLCM team,
Ed Nixon, Rosie Canning, Danielle McLaughlin, Ben Ashcroft, Ian Dickson, Lisa Cherry, Mary Campbell-Wharam, Sarah Sturmey, Rose Devereux, Philomena Harrison, Sarah Jury and Ivor Frank.