Creating Characters

To develop ideas for our story, about care and mental health, the team split into two groups to create characters. They were asked to create a fictitious character, to give him/her a name and an age. The group then worked in their groups to create a realistic set of circumstances for the character, including situations they were in, feelings, thoughts and emotions associated with the characters life in care.

Paolo Session Images_35One group created a character called Bradley, aged 12.Paolo Session Images_38

Bradley’s Back story

Bradley has been in care for 4 years. He has moved placement and now is settled in his 3rd placement. He has supervised contact with one parent but not the other. Has a 16 year old sister who lives away from him and stays in a homeless hostel. He has had one change in social worker an IRO and advocate who he gets along with. He has a foster parent with their own child who is of a similar age.

Paolo Session Images_33Bradley’s life circumstances

On the outside of the character the group wrote about Bradley’s circumstances.

  • Likes Canoeing
  • Feels settled in placement
  • Feels unsettled at school
  • Sometimes he doesn’t listen
  • Missed opportunities so likes things perhaps not suitable for his age
  • Has a small friendship circle
  • Uncomfortable doing family activities
  • Student support

Paolo Session Images_34Bradley’s feelings, thoughts and emotions

On the inside of the character the group wrote about Bradley’s thoughts feelings and emotions:

  • Happy
  • Frustrated
  • Unfair
  • Lonely
  • Scared
  • Feels rejected
  • Driven
  • Depressed
  • Left out
  • Optimistic
  • Feels under pressure
  • Motivated
  • Untrusting
  • Bewildered
  • Educated
  • Feels pushed aside
  • Emotionally detatched
  • Lost

Paolo Session Images_31The second group created a character called Poppy, aged 14.

Poppy’s life circumstances

On the outside of the character the group wrote about Poppy’s circumstances:

  • Taken out of class
  • Lost out on some education
  • Has some friends but some don’t understand her/he life
  • Is growing up quick
  • Has gone from having big family, to a small, strange family
  • People ask her constant questions (interrogating) like is that your mum?
  • Has to live with extra rules
  • Has had lots of different social workers
  • Has to tell story to professionals lots of times
  • Has unanswered questuons
  • Being driven to an unfamiliar place
  • Is being bullied at school
  • Being moved around
  • Seeing family in the street
  • Mum and Dad not turning up to contact
  • Feels replaced
  • Has attachment issues
  • Lots of new people
  • Less freedoms
  • Dealing with stereotypes
  • Lack of explanations

Paolo Session Images_22Poppy’s feelings, thoughts and emotions

On the inside of the character the group wrote about Poppy’s thoughts feelings and emotions:

  • Feels conflict about talking to 2 families
  • Doesn’t know if she should tell people her foster family are real family or not
  • Wonders if it is her fault?
  • Wonders if she will be a good enough parent when she is older?
  • Frustrated
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Lack of trust
  • Feel like an open book
  • Wants a better social worker
  • Doesn’t feel wanted
  • Doesn’t feel loved
  • Confusion
  • Out of control
  • Uncertainty
  • Unpredictable
  • Wonders where loyalties should lie
  • Doesn’t want to tell anyone about care
  • Introspective
  • Lacks reassurances
  • Isolated
  • Feels replaced
  • Pushed aside
  • Muddled
  • Fragmented
  • Wonders why a lot

Paolo Session Images_32

The groups then presented their characters to each other. There were some differences in the themes but also many similarities in both the characters’ circumstances and feelings.

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