A management consultant who grew up in care is challenging the stigma associated with children who are brought up by foster families.
Charmaine Phillips has created a film with the help of Fixers to show that being in care does not have to limit you.
The 25-year-old, who lived with seven different families between the ages of six and 18, says: ‘I do management consultancy within IT. When I tell people they are usually quite surprised because I’m doing quite well for myself and I’m very driven.
‘I think a lot of the time they’re surprised that someone from the care system is so successful.
‘I want to challenge the negative portrayal of children in care, by showing the reality of what it can be like and how this is different from the stereotype.
‘The stereotype tends to be that children in care are a bit messed up and likely to be troublemakers, when actually they can still have a bright future like anyone else and go onto be successful.’
Charmaine, from Brixton, London, has had both positive and negative experiences growing up in care, which have shaped the person she is today.
She says: ‘The good times were amazing because you learn not to take anything for granted, especially the value of a supportive family unit.
‘The bad parts include having a lot of trust issues because you’re moving from home to home.’
However it helped her be self-sufficient and develop an emotional intelligence where she could be more empathetic towards people.
She says: ‘Coming from care has made me more sensitive to other people’s emotions and it had made me more driven, so I don’t always look at it as a negative at all.
‘I want people to see me as proof that coming out of care doesn’t mean your situation will always be bad - you can be anything you want to be.'
Charmaine’s film is aimed at young people in care and is currently being shared online, throughout the care sector and via social media.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch more Fixers films, click on the image below.