Giving a voice to young people in care: Callum Lynch

Giving a voice to young people in care: Callum Lynch

Giving a voice to young people in care: Callum Lynch

Introduction

In the UK today there are over 100,000 young people in care. Many of them enter the care system without fully understanding the reasons why and without being involved in the decisions made about them. Complicated legal processes can make it hard for them to know their rights and, with regular changes in placements or social workers, it can be difficult to build relationships and find a trusted person in whom to confide their own feelings and wishes.

"My Fellowship was the most incredible experience of my life." - Callum Lynch, Fellow

Care campaigner Callum Lynch (CF 2018) is championing the rights of these young people to have a voice in their own care. As a result of his Fellowship, Callum organised the first international conference of care experienced people. This Global Care Family Gathering, in Scotland in 2018, was attended by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who gave an online contribution. The conference gathered nearly 200 delegates from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, to share their insights on improving the care system, and involved two leading organisations in the sector, National Confidential Forum and Who Cares? Scotland. Callum also fed into Scotland’s national care review, published in February 2020, which for the first time put love at the heart of the care system.

Callum lived in care as a teenager, and believes that people with experience of care must be heard for the care system to improve. His Fellowship to Sweden and the USA explored how to liberate the voice of young people in care.

Callum says, “For decades, care has been more damaging than beneficial. Care experienced people are not listened to and decisions are made for them. I know meaningful change cannot be made if we don’t listen to the voices of care experienced people. My Fellowship was the most incredible experience of my life. I have had an incredibly tough life and an opportunity like this seemed so far out of my reach. I learned so much, met incredible people and came back with a desire and knowledge to make real and meaningful change.”

"My Fellowship was the most incredible experience of my life." - Callum Lynch, Fellow

Care campaigner Callum Lynch (CF 2018) is championing the rights of these young people to have a voice in their own care. As a result of his Fellowship, Callum organised the first international conference of care experienced people. This Global Care Family Gathering, in Scotland in 2018, was attended by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who gave an online contribution. The conference gathered nearly 200 delegates from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, to share their insights on improving the care system, and involved two leading organisations in the sector, National Confidential Forum and Who Cares? Scotland. Callum also fed into Scotland’s national care review, published in February 2020, which for the first time put love at the heart of the care system.

Callum lived in care as a teenager, and believes that people with experience of care must be heard for the care system to improve. His Fellowship to Sweden and the USA explored how to liberate the voice of young people in care.

Callum says, “For decades, care has been more damaging than beneficial. Care experienced people are not listened to and decisions are made for them. I know meaningful change cannot be made if we don’t listen to the voices of care experienced people. My Fellowship was the most incredible experience of my life. I have had an incredibly tough life and an opportunity like this seemed so far out of my reach. I learned so much, met incredible people and came back with a desire and knowledge to make real and meaningful change.”