Graham Campbell

In our new podcast “Objects”, Charlotte Armitage is diving deep into conversation with seven people – all with experience of care – about the objects that define some of the most important moments in their lives.

Episode 2 – Graham Campbell

I have a strong commitment to public policy around Care Experienced people. That is because I am Care Experienced myself. I came from a broken family with a single mother dealing with severe mental health issues and two children – one of whom has severe autism. I can remember from my earliest days in 1970s and 1980s North London coming into contact with social services. When I was finally taken fully into care in 1981, I ended being accommodated in 13 different homes and foster families until I was 16. To be really honest – I am wary about coming out about this publicly – I know that some people will think of me differently because of it (sometimes that will be in a good way). I know that sharing these experiences is much harder for those going through the system right now to share. So, I agreed to do this podcast – so they don’t have to – and because I felt it was important to speak out also in order to give encouragement to those living with the after-effects of leaving care.

I often say this, but as a Councillor, therefore as a corporate parent, I am very aware that looked-after young people have corporate parents within multiple departments, and thousands of employees with lots of professional and employment opportunities, who possess assets like housing, parks, schools, libraries, museums, venues and land. If you had parents with all those assets outside of care experience – you would be joining the ‘family firm’. You would be actively encouraged in your education and careers options by supportive parents. I believe that Care Experienced people should become, and need to be, the most looked after of all those at risk in society. It’s time for Councils to step up and become the best corporate parents they can be.

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