A former Welsh children’s laureate has partnered with Foster Wales to challenge perceptions of young people in care through a new mural in South Wales.
The mural depicts a poem written by care-experienced teenagers with the help of former laureate Connor Allen, and was unveiled in Bridgend on Friday (8 December). It was painted by Cardiff based graffiti artist Bryce Davies.
The poem shares the teenagers’ life experiences in the hope of educating the public around the realities of fostering:
Fostering and adoption is not the same
You always think you are to blame
People think your parents don’t love you
But most people don’t have a clue
There’s a stereotype it’s just trouble we make
And that’s something that we all hate
There are stories behind our scars
Yet we hide our feelings in jars
So listen to our stories, Respect our choices
These are our lives, These are our voices
The young people also hope their poem will encourage people to think about fostering a child aged 11 or older.
Molly, aged 14, co-wrote the poem and is in foster care in Bridgend. She said: “As young people in care, we get judged before people even get to know us, people think we’re just troublemakers who do drugs and get pregnant underage. It’s just not true.
“Having a foster carer who sees through false perceptions and recognises my past, but still continues to support and encourage me to make positive steps forward is helpful for my wellbeing.”
There are nearly 5,000 children in foster care in Wales and many of them have experienced extreme hardship and adversity. However, when asked, they reveal that it is the negative perception of wider society that hurts them most, according to Foster Wales.
Allen, who helped the teenagers write the poem, said: “I'm blessed to be working on such an important project with Foster Wales that allows crucial voices to be heard. I hope they’re proud of their poem which reflects their true experiences.”
Foster Wales is the national network of not-for-profit fostering services, comprising the 22 local authority teams in Wales.
News & Jobs
News stories and job vacancies from our member agencies, the fostering sector and the world of child protection and safeguarding as a whole.