I am writing to ask you to consider voting for me as your Red Magazine Smart Woman of the Year 2015.
Although I am scruffy and tired a lot of the time I would like the opportunity to talk about modern adoption, kinship care and fostering in the mainstream media. These opportunities don’t come along very often.
I would like for there to be a little more empathy around the place for children and young people who are not able to live with their birth families, some of whom have known the worst of times. I would like for children to be accepted, understood and supported, not blamed, when they exhibit behaviours which may seem baffling, but which in the context of broken beginnings make complete sense.
When they are angry, when they find it hard to be still, when they struggle to make the choices that others think they should, when they find education difficult to engage with – I would like us to show a little more understanding, to perhaps try and see the world through their eyes and to let this inform our responses.
I would like the routes from broken beginnings into educational under-achievement, chronic lack of self-belief, self-harm and the criminal justice system to be be over-grown and impassable as a result of the splendid growth of high quality, compassionately delivered services. I would like those parenting and in other ways supporting children and young people to be robustly and compassionately supported themselves, because standing alongside and acting as a loved one’s emotional scaffolding can be a relentlessly difficult and lonely business.
By stepping back from blame, by listening and believing, by acting with compassion in all our professional, social and casual interactions with children, young people and those supporting and parenting them we increase the likelihood of healing. Healing opens up the routes to brighter futures.
I’d like to take this unexpected opportunity to express all of this. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say a party would be nice too. If there is one and I get to take a friend, then I’d like to extend an invitation to the kind woman who made the effort to nominate me. We’ve never met but I guess we’d have a lot to talk about.
Happy summer and don’t forget to #takecare