Rachel and her younger brother and sister went into foster care when she was seven years old. because they could no longer live with their parents. They were placed together at first, but later separated as professionals felt she was taking on too much of a parenting role, when she was still a child herself. Rachel was prevented from seeing her siblings which affected her badly as she was very close to them. She was feeling powerless and angry.

Rachel

She says, “We all got moved together and then we were split up. I couldn’t understand why. I was really close to them and like a mother to them because my mother and father couldn’t be.

“It felt horrible when I was told I couldn’t I couldn’t see them. I felt scared being in the world by myself, without them. I felt like because I was a child no one would listen to me, because they think adults know better.”

Rachel’s school counsellor suggested she use an advocacy service to try to get her viewpoint across to the authorities and her foster carer found out about Bolton Children’s Rights and Advocacy, run by Action for Children.

For over a year, Rachel has been given one to one support from a Young Person’s Advocate who set up meetings between professionals involved in her care and helped Rachel get her views across in the form of a letter which explained how she felt and what she wanted to happen.

Rachel was successful in getting contact arranged with her brother and sister and baby sister, who was born while she was in care, as well as her parents.

I was letting my life be controlled by other people but now I’ve got control back. I feel a lot happier in myself. Now I want to help other young people like me.
Rachel

Having recently became a Young Ambassador for Action for Children, Rachel helps to promote the work the charity does to improve the lives of children and young people. She’s also been involved in the recruitment of the local authority’s foster carers in her area, interviewing prospective carers. She’s just started a beauty therapy course and she hopes to do some voluntary work.

Her Young Person’s Advocate, Chris, said: “When I first met Rachel she was a different person from what she is today. She was feeling powerless and really angry. But I could see the potential in her. Rachel’s grown and matured and her confidence now is sky-high. We’ve had lots of difficulties along the way but I’m really proud of how she’s handled it.”

Help us do more.

Your support will help us make life better for the UK's most vulnerable children and young people.