A 24-year-old Fixer from York wants to use her experience of living with a foster carer to challenge the view that young people leaving care go on to be ‘underachievers’.
Her story was shown on ITV News Tyne Tees on Thursday 3rd October.
Jade Ward, who is now a student at university, was fostered when she was 13, and wants people to know that it doesn’t have to be a negative or chaotic experience.
‘She was very patient and gave me a lot of time to adjust and to feel part of the family, she was a really brilliant woman,’ says Jade of her foster carer.
‘Without her I don’t think I’d be at university or have achieved all that I've achieved so far. My foster carer always believed in me and pushed me to do the things that I wanted to do.’
With the help of Fixers, Jade is working on a film to look at the positive side of life in care, to question the perception that those who have been in care are lazy or don’t do well at school.
Harriet Guhirwa from the National Care Leavers’ Advisory Service run by Catch 22 supports Jade’s Fixers project.
‘I think anything that can be done to highlight the achievements of care leavers is going to be a really positive thing,’ says Harriet.
‘Sometimes Jade, and the other care leavers I work with, feel there’s a lot of focus on the negative and they hear statistics about them being low achievers.
‘The project could help change perceptions.’
Jade adds: ‘I really hope this film gets shown and that people take in to account exactly how many young people in care, and care leavers, are doing brilliant things.
‘I hope that local councils recognise the achievements of their young people, and support and encourage them to continue to take positive steps in life.’