‘People tend to think that because you were brought up in care you’re not going to achieve many qualifications, you’re not supposed to do well in life, you’ll just do nothing and you might end up in prison.’
As a former child refugee who fled Afghanistan, Farid Saleh knows first-hand about the preconceptions that young people from foster families face.
So the 21-year-old from Islington is working with Fixers to challenge these negative attitudes and hopes to improve life for young people in care.
His story will be broadcast on ITV News London on May 4.
Arriving in London at the age of 13, Farid was placed with a very supportive foster family who encouraged him to ‘dream big’.
He is now studying for a degree in social work at Goldsmiths.
But he is concerned that many cared-for youngsters are treated with suspicion, and are much less likely to do well in education or adult life.
‘There’s this stigma that the public has when it comes to young people living with foster families,’ says Farid
‘In the past when I’ve said I live with a foster family and that I have a social worker, the reaction I’ve got wasn’t nice so I didn’t tell many people after that.’
Farid wants to encourage people to be more open minded, set stereotypes aside and give care leavers a chance.
‘I want society to encourage young people in care to live a normal life and be ambitious.
‘I hope by talking about this subject that society have more information to understand that people come into care for many different reasons, it’s not always young people’s fault.
‘Everyone deserves a fair chance, they shouldn’t be defined by the term, “care leaver”.’
Chloe Cockett, from Become, says: ‘Currently outcomes for care leavers in general are quite poor.
'We know that six per cent of care leavers at 19 are in higher education compared to 38 per cent of the general population. What Farid is doing is a really good thing.
‘Children in care can often have a difficult start but being fostered can also be a very positive experience.’
She adds: ‘Outcomes for care leavers aren’t good enough and we should want more for our care leavers. We know that 24 per cent of the prison population has experienced care at some point.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.