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Breaking Stigma, Building Community: Empowering Looked After Children

In the landscape of child welfare, one unfortunate reality persists: the stigma surrounding looked after children. Misconceptions and societal biases are pervasive and leads to feelings of alienation and low self-worth. This can perpetuate a cycle of marginalisation, hindering their ability to thrive and reach their full potential.

But change is possible, and it starts with us – the practitioners in the field. Here are some key steps we can take to challenge and change the narrative:

1. Education & Awareness:

Educate ourselves and others about the realities faced by looked after children and how we can all take a trauma-informed lens to foster empathy and understanding.

2. Language Matters:

Use respectful and empowering language to reshape perceptions and attitudes.

3. Neighbourhood Engagement:

Initiate open dialogue, tackle the tough questions head-on, host community events, and promote any opportunities that bridge the gap between our children and their neighbours.

4. Storytelling & Sharing:

Share stories of triumph and resilience to challenge stereotypes and inspire empathy within the community.

5. Roots to Place:

Local sports/youth clubs, Sunday park runs, favourite ice cream spots – create the rhythm and rituals that give our children attachment to their communities.

6. Empower to serve:

Our children can make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through volunteering, raising money for charity or from any small act of service/kindness. Show them how.

By taking these steps, we can break down barriers, celebrate the strengths of looked after children, and build a brighter future for all. Join us in creating inclusive communities where stigma is replaced with empathy and support.

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