Case Study 1
Read Hannah’s experience of education through RCS Transitions.
It is hard being away from my family. The impact being in care can have in terms of blame and self-confidence. You can only be strong for so long. It hasn’t always been easy for me to prioritise education. Sometimes, I’ve had too much going on in my life. But education has also been my saviour. It brings order amongst the chaos, it gives structure and is something I have a choice about.
Out of all the education that I’ve been through, RCS have been the most understanding. Through RCS, I have expanded my social circle and built a creative network. In the arts, you bump into people all the time, and the world becomes smaller.
I am on the RCS Transitions initiative. It provides care experienced students and students from postcodes within multiple deprivation areas with up to 150 hours per year of fully funded training in their chosen art form and tailored support and mentoring.
Since joining Transitions, I’ve had a mentor and a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) Tutor. My PLP tutor is an expert in the same art form that I am studying – acting – we work together to evaluate and reflect on the particular courses I am doing, and what I learn from them. My mentor is different, they help me to look at the bigger picture and where I’m going – and what steps I can take to get there.
I find it difficult to ask for help – I don’t want to be pitied or patronised and don’t want any extra help I’m given to impact on the support other people receive. I also don’t want to appear stupid or to become another care-experienced statistic. But my RCS mentor has been fantastic. They have a really good background knowledge of the care system and is close to Who Cares? Scotland. So it’s easy for me to turn around and explain myself, without having to explain things from first principles. My mentor prioritises welfare first of all and it is really helpful to have a third person perspective from someone outside my personal life. As a consequence of building that mentoring relationship, I am more likely to ask for help at RCS.
I feel strongly that young people must have control of the support they are given – talk to us and learn about what we need rather than deciding yourself what’s best for us. It’s important that people recognise how difficult it can be to learn in a care setting. Why should the average young person who stays with their parents have a better educational experience than those of us who don’t?
Find out more about Transitions.