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Untold stories of adults who have grown up in care: Understanding impact of disrupted childhoods

Saturday 8 Feb Untold stories of adults who have grown up in care Understanding impact of disrupted childhoods with @_LisaCherry & @jamie_crabb Join us to hear & bear witness to untold stories of #careexperienced adults, reflect and support relational practice

An invitation

We invite counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health practitioners and those who work in health and social care professions to join us in exploring "Untold stories of adults who have grown up in care: Understanding impact of disrupted childhoods." A space to reflect and inform relational practice in supporting care experienced adults.

We have some stories to tell you. We need you as witnesses.

Imagine being removed from your parents and siblings without a voice in the decision.

Imagine a care system that acts as your parent, yet makes decisions that disrupt and compromise your relational and attachment needs and wishes.

Imagine your 'corporate parent' gives little focus or importance on your needs for physical affection.

Imagine having much of your childhood as surveillance documented by social workers, foster carers, teachers and health professionals in a file which you may have no awareness and little input into what is written about you. A file when you access in adulthood can be full of redacted blank spaces, uses language and perspectives that may confusingly reflect differently to your lived experience of events.

Imagine a society that stigmatises you because of the circumstances of your childhood that are no fault of your own.

Imagine that your disrupted childhood experiences, separations and relational trauma are overlooked therapeutically.

Imagine your therapist or mental health practitioner had little or no understanding of the impact of these primal wounds, of your care experience.

The untold stories of adults who have grown up in the care system and its impact are overlooked by society. We are a marginalised group that go unrecognised, the emotional journey and its impact upon us as adults are often hidden by shame and covered up by a system that purports to care, yet our disrupted narratives and loss are deeply embodied.

We grew up in the care system. We are calling on you to hear, and bear witness to the untold stories we had no one to tell. In doing so we invite you to join us to reflect and consider the needs of care experienced adults and inform relational practice.

Watch Pretish speak with Lisa Cherry & Jamie Crabb about the workshop:

Further session information

Care experienced adults have often experienced significant developmental trauma before entering the care system, compounded by the instability of the care system. The emotional legacy of our experiences can reflect isolation, stigma, shame and lead to the development of resilient, adaptive coping strategies and understandable wariness of support services. Social justice movements including The Care Experienced Conference 2019 and an emergence of autobiographical accounts including Lisa Cherry’s “The Brightness of Stars: Stories of adults who came through the care system" (2013) demonstrate the important need for the voices and stories of care experienced adults to be heard by society, professionals and policymakers to inform timely meaningful change, support and healing.

Lisa Cherry and Jamie Crabb are both care experienced. We invite you to this unique one-day exploration facilitating an embodied understanding of care experienced adults, often unheard, misunderstood and stigmatised group. Drawing on contemporary theories of neuroscience and relationality that reach beyond Bowlby, and understandings of attachment theory, we will explore the impact of complex trauma and the primal wound of care experience. We invite you to explore the historical impact of shame and stigma of the care experience that is deeply embodied. Exploring resilience and care experience from a relational perspective we explore both the importance and challenges of relationality for care experienced adults. We disrupt the ideological ‘care leaver’ narrative of independence with recognition of the relational need of interdependence and the healing potential of caring and enabling relationships. We invite you to be curious and reflect upon your embodied experience as we encounter our lived experience of care, the importance of relationships and holistic therapeutic journeys in our stories together.

£75 non Aashna Community | £60 concessions Aashna Community (Res/Mem/+) Students and Care Experienced. Two complimentary tickets are available for those who are unable to self-fund Please enquire by emailing Price includes refreshments and a vegetarian lunch.

Lisa Cherry is a relational activist, author and a leading international trainer and consultant, specialising in assisting those in Education, Probation, Social Care and Adoption and Fostering to understand trauma, recovery and resilience for vulnerable children, young people and their families. Lisa has nearly 30 years experience in this field and combines academic knowledge and research with professional skills and personal experience. Lisa has recently completed research on the impact of exclusion on children who were looked after away from home in the 1970's and 1980's. Her book “The Brightness of Stars: stories of adults who came through the care system.” (2013) was one of the first books to focus on the adult voices of those who have experienced the care system. The personal insights and reflections of these often unheard stories are brought vividly to life beginning from Lisa’s own story

Jamie Crabb is an integrative counsellor and member of the Aashna Counselling and Psychotherapy team developing training and events considering diversity and intersectionality in therapy and training. He has worked with adults and young people in schools, higher education and charity sector for over fifteen years in both academic and advocacy roles and as a therapist focused on disability, long-term health conditions and neurodiversity. He is completing his MA psychotherapy research on the experience of foster care, and its implications for counselling and psychotherapy. Jamie is a member of the Care Experience Conference 2019 team, a national conference for care experienced people of all ages enabling a much-needed debate about the care system past and present, and future for which the summary and academic reports have been published.

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