"...then we’ll know we’ve really made a difference"

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Wednesday 19 February 2014 / Chance to stay Children in care

Last week Assembly Members in Wales agreed with our campaign and voted to give fostered young people a Chance to Stay. Here's one young person's account of the day and how it's given her a boost.

"We have been fighting so hard to get to the final debate and vote for the chance to stay!

On the day of the debate and vote I was really nervous about everything and was thinking 'is it going to happen? Or is it a waste of time?'

I'm glad I had a chance to meet AMs before they voted, so I could help them decide what they wanted to do. 

We had to go to the Assembly twice. Once for the debate where the AMs said what they wanted to say on the issue. The second time, a week later, they got to vote.  There was lots going on as it wasn't just  Chance to Stay they were talking about and voting on. They had loads of different changes they had to think about and vote for.

We were waiting a long time, but finally we heard our number come up.  I was sitting on the edge of my seat praying that they will just agree to give young people a Chance to Stay. It went to a vote and they voted for it! I was so relieved!

I was full of joy, except I still didn't really understand what was going in! One of the amendments had fallen (which means it wouldn't be voted on) but when we saw the Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas AM stand up and say she promises to make the amendment stronger in the next few weeks that was a huge relief.  I finally realised it was actually happening.

Since that day, I've been so happy knowing I've helped a lot of children by changing the law. At least now they should have less worries and can get on with their education and life.  I've gained a lot more confidence since this has happened, and realised that with support and determination you can do pretty much anything!

We’re still waiting for Gwenda Thomas to make the amendment stronger, so we will still keep on going!  I'm so happy, and can't wait until I hear that someone has had the opportunity to stay in foster care until  the age of 21 – then we’ll know we’ve really made a difference."

We are still waiting to hear how Gwenda is going to strengthen the amendment to make sure fostered young people get the best support until they're 21. The next date for your diary is the 18 March, when Assembly Members will be meeting to discuss this again. We know they agree with us that young people in foster care should be given a Chance to Stay, but we'll not let up until it happens.

Join the conversation.

Find out how you can become a campaigner, stay up to date with our latest tweets and join in the discussion on our blog.