On the 25th June, we held an information event to help educate young people in care and the birth children of our Foster Carers, about the Black Lives Matter development, currently dominating the media.
The event, hosted by a panel of our staff, Ric Flo, a hip-hop artist who grew up in foster care, and Rose Simkins, the CEO of a charity for victims of racial harassment, was hosted via online video.
The event aimed to explain the BLM movement in a mature way over an open discussion. With news outlets and social media increasingly covering the Black Lives Matter movement and history being questioned by the pulling down of statues such as Bristol’s slave trader Edward Colston, young people have been more exposed to race, controversy, BAME history and its significance in today’s society.
TV, news and social media can be very conflicting and confusing information platforms for young people, which is why the information evening came in, to clear up misconceptions, answer questions and inform.
Ed Thompson, our Training & Participation Manager and organiser of the event, said:
“We held an information evening for young people, to help them understand what ‘Black Lives Matter’ means and to guide their understanding.
“We wanted to provide a safe space for our young people to ask questions about what they might have been seeing on social media and the news. Our Foster Carers are obviously able to offer support, but we wanted to offer an addition to that.
“The evening was recorded, so that our carers and young people can watch back at a time that works for them. Part of being a family is helping to make sense of the world around you, to make this real and understandable by those you talk to and pitching it at the right level.
“This is what we aimed to do and the panel we put together did just that, so I would like to thank them and thank our Foster Carers and young people for listening to us and for being upstanders.”
Ric Flo, who attended the panel, added his thoughts on the importance of the evening:
“Change starts with having open conversations about the experiences we face as black people. I loved hearing everyone’s perspective on the panel which helped to educate and make the next generation be aware and know what’s right and equal to all of us.”
We regularly hold participation evenings and events that encourage the young people within the fostering agency to communicate with each other and have fun.