Brad

No one was listening, so at the age of eleven, Brad stopped talking.

I'm not sure I would have described myself as lonely at the time – I was eleven, and the main thing I was feeling was really upset. It was my first time in foster care, and my carers just weren't on my wavelength.

I spent a lot of time on my own. I had friends but I didn't want to talk to them about the stuff that was happening in my life. I didn't think they would understand the situation I was in.
I became more and more angry and started getting into fights at school. This meant being excluded from class a few times. I tried telling my social worker why I wasn't happy, but she didn't listen. There didn't seem much point in speaking to anyone, so I just stopped talking.

"There didn't seem much point in speaking to anyone, so I just stopped talking."

Brad,
Brad

I'm not sure what would have happened next really if Action for Children hadn't got involved. They found me a young person’s advocate – someone who came with me to meetings with social workers and so on.

She listened, she didn't ignore my feelings. This really helped - I didn't feel alone. I started to interact more felt more and more confident. It got to a really good point when I started chairing my own meetings. I wasn't afraid anymore.

I've just finished my first year at sixth form college and am volunteering with Action for Children. They were there for me when no one else was, and now it’s my turn to help other young people out.

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