25th April 2019

Teens in care and care leavers challenge perceptions and share successes on IMO

Michelle Browne
Senior Digital Engagement Officer

IMO (‘in my opinion’) is a peer-led digital platform for teenagers in care and care leavers; created by teens with care experience with help from the Children’s Commissioner for England. It is somewhere they can share stories, experiences and achievements, get and give advice, and access lots of great free stuff and exclusive opportunities. The platform also links children in care councils across England together around common campaigns.

IMO gives teens in care and care leavers the space to tell the world their story. It offers a powerful insight into what life in care is really like, told from the perspective of those directly experiencing it. Many of the stories we receive highlight the myths that sadly still exist about the care system. Contributors to IMO are often motivated by the opportunity to share their successes, strengths and achievements, and show others what they are capable of. These positive posts challenge negative perceptions and fight against the stigma experienced by looked-after children.

Themes explored on the site include mental health, maintaining relationships while in foster care – with siblings, former foster carers and birth parents alike – and life after care, including advice on going to university and following different career paths ranging from journalism to social work.

IMO is supported by companies including BBC, Google, Merlin Entertainments, Audible and Headspace, who offer exclusive opportunities and free stuff to teens in care and care leavers to help support their emotional and physical wellbeing. You can support IMO by sharing the platform with any teens in your care or care leavers you know who might find it useful, and by taking a look at the stories contained within to learn more about the experiences and successes of its contributors.

To find out more about contributing to the platform, or if you have any questions, please contact michelle.browne@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk.

 

Recent content from the IMO community:

Care leaver Sophia vlogs about studying at Oxford University

Care leaver Stephen charts his journey into social work

Teens from Coventry reveal what it’s really like to be in care

Kai shares his journey through foster care and his achievements

Dear younger me: a collection advice from others in care across England 

 

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