The second series of CREATE Foundation’s Voices in Action podcast is continuing its work in breaking the stigma of children and young people living in care, while also empowering young people to help create positive change in the system.
Many of the young people involved with CREATE have said the greatest misconception people have about them is that they are in care because they did something wrong. We know the label of being ‘bad’, ‘trouble’ or ‘unworthy’ isn’t the case at all and all young people in care have been placed there through no fault of their own.
To challenge these misconceptions, CREATE began the #SnapThatStigma campaign. A group of young people thought the first steps were to start the conversation to raise awareness about the prejudice against young people in care and demonstrate that there’s no typical ‘kid in care’. They all agreed the Voices in Action Podcast was the perfect avenue to share their experiences and prove that young people in care are absolutely worthy of love, attention and support to achieve their goals.
Almost the entire process of creating the podcast was driven by the young people themselves, from identifying the topics, to hosting, and recording the interviews. We sat down with CREATE’s Young Consultants, Emily and Adina, who appear in the first episode of series two to hear their thoughts on how we can #SnapThatStigma for young people with a care experience and how the podcast is providing a platform for them to do this.
What are the most common stigmas right now for those with a care experience? Has this changed over the years?
Adina: I think the stigma really hasn’t changed in the last few years, much like the issues children and young people are facing. I think a lot of people think children in care are naughty or angry and won’t achieve much in their lives.
Emily: The most common stigmas will always be the same; that young people in out-of-home care (OOHC) aren’t worth the time and money that goes into their survival let alone their ability to thrive. That we should be forcing young people into adulthood and the workforce rather than their fundamentals of play, sport, and development. This has not changed over the years and will only continue to hurt the progression of young people in OOHC while they battle stereotypes, statistics and the system.
What are some of their ideas about how we stop these stigmas?
Emily: The community needs to change their opinions and values towards young people as a whole before the true abilities of individuals will be able to shine through. I want young people to know that you are more than the habits of your family and the box the system forces you in. You are creative, authentic, and original.
Adina: I would like the general public to care more about not only stigma, but the reality for children and young people with a care experience. Most people are aware the child protection system exists, but don’t know much about it. It’s like “out of sight, out of mind”. Children are the future and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure children are safe and have their human rights met. I think if the public hears more about us, they will understand more and will have less stigmatised ideas.
What have you gained from creating the podcast?
Emily: Podcasts have allowed me the opportunity to really get down into the deep end of what it is like to have an authentic conversation between two people well versed and experienced in OOHC. It’s something I do not get often or regularly because it isn’t common for people around me to know what is going on in this area of the world; I am involved because it is always important to have conversations about young people with young people. Whoop whoop!!!!!!
Adina: Working on the podcast has been a wonderful experience. It’s something that I have never done before and never imagined I would be doing. The podcast is something that I’m proud of being a part of and proving that I can step out of my comfort zone.
If you know of a young person interested in sharing their story with CREATE, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join CREATE’s Voices in Action virtual conference from 26-29 April 2022 as key speakers (including Guardian Penny Wright*), decision-makers and those with a lived care experience talk about how to improve the out-of-home care sector across Australia.
*Penny will be co-presenting with one of CREATE’s youth consultants, Stephanie Greenwood, on Friday 29th April in the 9.30am Plenary (Adelaide time). Listen in to find out Stephanie’s secrets to being ‘Resilient, Resourceful and Remarkable’!