IMO - THE NEW SITE FOR CHILDREN IN CARE AND CARE LEAVERS.
I will start by introducing you to to IMO. IMO is a platform designed for those in care and care leaver to connect with others and discuss the things that matter to you. It is dedicated to helping young people find the information and answers they need and helping those with the answers pass them on to those that need them.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN FOSTER CARE?
Before we can can understand what IMO is and why it will be a helpful tool, we need to look at the people it has been designed for. There are many names for this. You may be a Child in Care or CiC, a Looked After Child or LAC, I have even been called a CLA – Child Looked After. This all amounts to the same thing. You have been moved, for whatever reason, into the protective care of social services. Of course, there are also care leavers been. Those who have been through care and have come out the other side, either because they have become adults and moved on or because they have made the decision to leave. Often care leavers are still entitled to some support but even those who aren’t could benefit from having some sort of network like IMO.
Looking at my own experience going through the care system, a platform like IMO would have been brilliant for me. I am very willing to share my experiences with others. In comparison to others in the system, I think I have it it really good. My care experience has been a really positive one. I can safely say that I have a family for life and that they will be there to support me. I have been given so many opportunities and, although at the beginning it was really hard to adjust, I have turned my life around and I am where I want to be. I have been an ambassador and advocate of the children in my local authority and I feel that everything that I’ve been through and achieved is valuable to share with others. I hope that what I share can serve as both advice and inspiration to others who want to make a better life for themselves.
WHY IS THIS SOMETHING WE NEED?
This is something we need because being in foster care or having been through it in the past is something of a taboo topic. Those that are not directly involved, through no fault of their own, are very ignorant to what is happening in the lives of these kids. This means that they need to be able to connect with people who know what they are going through and have some of the answers to their questions. I feel it is something I would have found an extremely useful resource when I was growing up in care. There were plenty of occasions when nobody seemed to know the answers to my questions. I would have really benefitted from speaking to someone who was going through it or had been through it too. Now we have that resource!
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT?
That’s absolutely OK! There is never any obligation to share your story with anyone else, however lots of people feel better after sharing. You can use the service to share without reading what others have shared or you can read what others have written without sharing yourself. There is still so much to be gained by this service regardless of how you want to use it.
WHAT OTHER FEATURES ARE THERE?
As well as the ability to share and connect with other young people, there is a wealth of information hosted on the site for you to access. If there is anything that you are unsure about you can check the site to see what you can find out for yourself. From personal experience, doing some of your own research into things before trying to get things done gives you a lot more clout and you are more likely to be successful.
WHAT CAN WE CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE SERVICE GOING FORWARD?
The biggest growth that we foresee for now is through contributors. More people joining the platform to show their unique stories and to hear the stories of others. There is, of course, the expected growth to the information that we have available on the platform. As new information become available we will source it and add it to the site for people to access. Finally then, we are looking forward to our site being able to help many young people and help so many more help themselves.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
So, what i have just introduced you to is a great new platform that we should all get behind and I am really pleased to have been a part of.
If you would like to be a part if it too, you can go to: