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Going into care

Dear Sam,

I am going into a kids home soon and wondered if you could tell me a little bit more about it. My Mum had died and I can't live with my gran for very long because she can't look after me properly so I am very scared and want to know more about children's homes.

From

C*

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Sam

Hi C*,

Young people can go into care for lots of different reasons, and one reason is if you aren't being looked after. People like Social Workers and family members will usually discuss the best option for you getting the care and, sometimes, protection they need.

It can be really scary leaving the people and places you're familiar with, even for a short time. And it can feel like meeting new people and trying to make friends will be really difficult.

Some care homes and types of care can be just like family homes in terms of size and the number of people there. And others might be a bit larger. But wherever you are, there should always be someone there whose job it is to look after you and ask questions. Often they're called a Support Worker or Care Worker.

Going to a care home is different for everyone, and it's important to think about some positives. This could be getting your own room for the first time, living with other young people or getting away from a difficult situation.

Many children who live in care homes are still able to have contact with and visit their family, so you won't lose contact with family. In some cases young people can go and stay with people like grandparents some weekends or during holidays. A lot of this will depend on how long you're in the care home for. Sometimes young people go into care for ‘respite’, which means that it is intended to help out people who are looking after the young person but who find it hard because they are elderly or may a physical disability which makes it hard to be a carer all the time.

The best way to get definite answers is to speak to your Social Worker. You could also ask a family member what they know about you going into care. Talking to them about your feelings can really help too.

You could also join other young people who are in care or have been in care on the message boards. And remember, our counsellors are always here to talk about your hopes and fears and about talking to your Social Worker.

Take care,

Sam

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