You made Assembly Members say this

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Thursday 06 February 2014 / Chance to stay Children in care Participation

I listened to Assembly Members speak publically about Chance to Stay – Cyfle I Aros, our campaign to give young people in foster care in Wales the right to stay until they are at least 21. Lindsay Whittle AM, explained: “We have all been receiving lots of e-mails, some of which have been heartbreaking”

This shows just what you’ve achieved by emailing and telephoning your AMs over the past few months. You’ve made them listen, understand, and care enough to want to do something about it now.

For me, there were a few really special moments during the debate which summed up the difference you’ve made.

Kirsty Williams AM
“I remember myself at that age, and I certainly would not have been capable of handling the complex things of modern life - accommodation, money, school, college, education - at that young age … We are talking about children who often do not have any of those support networks around them to help make that transition into adulthood a success. I really hope that we can take this opportunity today to mandate local authorities to make the service available for children, if they want to stay …”

William Graham AM
“This can mean losing the feeling of being part of a family or having someone to talk through a problem with or other types of much-needed support. Young people require stable relationships with people they can trust, and this is what has to change. In Wales, we have a new opportunity to improve the lives of young people leaving care”

Lindsay Whittle AM
“I will close with just a few words from some young people in care, if I may, which are quite moving. This is what one young man, aged 16, said “We get rushed out of care when we are 16 - it’s not fair. Being in foster care is supposed to be like a family. I’m sure they wouldn’t rush me out at 16. It feels so great to forget about everything, but the day after, all of my troubles are back - even more - because you have done silly things. Sometimes I think I want to die’. Well, we can make a difference. That is why I am really pleased to submit my amendments, and I hope that they will get the full support of this Senedd.”

Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Social Services
“I have listened very carefully to the comments made here this afternoon …This is a commitment that I wholeheartedly share. It is in continuing this commitment that I have also listened to the calls from third sector organisations and the young people themselves regarding arrangements for post-18 accommodation, and have brought forward amendments…”

Next Tuesday every single Assembly Member will vote on what the law should say.

It’s really simple, we want them to say YES.

• Yes, young people in foster care in Wales will have the choice to able to stay until they are at least 21
• Yes, young people and foster carers will have the practical and financial support they need
• Yes, every local authority in Wales will have to make sure young people have this opportunity

Please add to the pressure. Share this graphic on facebook, twitter, emails, wherever to help give young people a chance to stay.

You can watch the debate online by clicking here (the part about Chance to Stay – Cyfle I Aros starts at 5hrs 35 min 30s)

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