Using the characters we had created, the group were asked to think of some realistic scenes their character may find themselves in. They were ask to consider scenes that would be true to life for children in care.
Young people could choose to write about their scenes and explain what was happening or create images to highlight their scene.While many of the young people had positive experiences of care, it was highlighted through discussion that some things within the care journey were really difficult to deal with as a young person. Many had unanswered questions and thoughts that played on their minds.The team were super engaged and created some powerful scenes using the characters. The images and scenes highlighted a significant number of mental health issues from depression and anxiety, to feelings of abandonment and self harm.The group felt it was important to demonstrate the amount of impact experiences within the care journey can have on a young person. It was clear that ‘being in care’ was not the key factor when it came to feelings and emotions, but more the process of “going into care” and all the issues that arise as a result.In this scene we see a young person facing the dilemma of seeing their birth family in the street and the feelings associated with that experience. These were the kinds of issues and situations that the young people felt were important to highlight. The situation of meeting family in the street was a reoccurring theme which had a big impact on some of the group.In this scene we see what at first glance looks like an ordinary teenagers bedroom, until you notice the words “There is no place like home” crossed out on the wall. This indicates a sense of displacement, while the words around the image “Paranoid” “No Sleep” and “Alone” highlight that while this environment looks safe and equipped, that this young persons mind is effected by their experience.
In this scene the character “Lexi” is 13 and is really upset. She often locks herself away in her room, using her bedroom as a “hide-out”. She finds it difficult to concentrate, she is being bullied and is confused about why she is in care. This image clearly highlights how the characters mental health is effected by her situation.The character below, “Lily” has some similar themes too, such as locking herself away in her room. She is clearly affected by her memories and is finding it difficult to engage with adults about her feelings.
The two scenes below are both very simple but really powerful.
The scenes would help inform ideas for the story the group would be creating with writer Paolo Hewitt.