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How the care system is letting down black children

OUT IN THE COLD: Research suggests that the emotional needs of young black people in care are too often overlooked

“SOMETIMES, I wish I was like other kids, because being in care messes with my emotions. I’ve always wanted my own family, friends, room, and most of all my own privacy in a home I can call my own. Instead, I’m moved around the country until carers are fed up of me.

“I’ve been with carers who have hit and abused me and I’ve cried so many times I’ve lost count. They all say the right things and put a show on in front of social workers, but when they actually get a kid like me, it’s a different story. It’s not my fault my parents couldn’t manage, but now because of them, I’m just another kid in care.”

This is the experience of 16-year-old Ayesha Richards, a looked-after black child from Walthamstow, east London. She was taken into care at the age of seven when her parents’ marriage broke down in 2008. Unfortunately, since then she has not been in a stable home.

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