I am 39 years old now and I began writing this book in 2008. I have an honor’s degree in Childhood and Youth Studies from Exeter University and over ten years’ experience working with young people in schools and within the care system in the UK.
My story is about my life growing up in the care system and then trying to build a good life for myself. I hope it might help young people living a similar situation to remain hopeful for their futures. I hope that adults working with young people will find my book insightful and hopefully it will guide them in their working practice as well as change the way they view the young people they work with and their families.
I have been very lucky in that I have gone on to do some good things and build a loving family of my own, although I won’t pretend this was easy. Having to unlearn the things I had learned as a child and not just replicate them was hard work but worth every bit of sweat and every tear.
I live in a small Somerset village in the UK with my family. I work with the Somerset Youth Offending Team and with children who have emotional and behavioral difficulties, many of whom are in or have been in residential care at some point.
I have written this book for many reasons but mainly because growing up I didn’t believe that I could have a good life. I honestly thought that good things weren’t meant for the likes of me. I was wrong, and I want to give every child the chance to read about how I discovered this. I did manage to break the cycle and I believe that we can all have a good life. It just might not come knocking at your door.
I want those that work with young people to believe in them, every child and young person needs to believe that life is what we make it, not what others have predicted for us.