I want to see more support for young care experienced mothers
Stacey was in our care 11 years ago. We’ve been speaking to her about her experiences after leaving care at 16 and what support she wants to see for young care experienced mothers.
They should teach girls the signs of domestic violence. When you leave care, it’s too easy to end up in a bad situation.
I lost my daughter when I was 18 because of a violent relationship. If I knew how to look out for the signs, I might have avoided that situation.
I managed to get away from my daughter’s dad and ended up in a refuge for women and families. When I was there, I felt like I was being watched all the time. I was only allowed out for an hour at a time with my daughter because they thought I would go back to him. I wasn’t, I just wanted to get on with my life, but they didn’t understand that. They didn’t give me the chance to prove it to them.
I was there for about seven months before they took my daughter away from me.
When I was in court, my solicitor told me that the best thing to do was hand my daughter over because social services were already on their way to nursery to get her. I was only young, so I didn’t know what to do in those sort of situations. I thought because they were a solicitor, they would tell me the right thing to do.
They took her off me when she was 10 months old. I count myself lucky that I had that time with her but I wish I hadn’t listened and fought for her. Even if I lost, at least I will have still tried. I hate myself for it.
Young people in those situations need help from someone independent, who’ll listen to them and support their choices. Maybe if I got more support, things could be different?
It said they tried to help my mum and dad in my care file, but not the right help - they didn’t get rehabilitation or support to come off drugs. Parents should get more support if their children are at risk of going into care.
I’ve got two boys now. My toddler is 3 and in nursery, and I’m waiting for my baby to go there too so I can look for work properly. I want to work with young adults who’ve left care or children about to leave care so I can use my experiences to help.
People don’t always think much of care kids but we can achieve anything we set our minds to, especially if we have support along the way.
If you'd like to join Stacey and share your story or tell us what you think needs to change for care experienced people we'd love to hear from you. You can email Ali our Communications and Campaigns Manager and she'll arrange a time to chat: email@example.com