I’m Wayne, care leaver. I’m from Ireland, and founded the Care Leavers’ Network a networking and support group for care leavers. We advocate for children in care, support children coming out of care, and train professionals in the care system. I was born in 1975 and spent most of my childhood in State Care. My dad had alcohol problems and my mam had mental health problems.  Each got worse, and a combination of both made it impossible to look after me and my two sisters.

I didn’t want to go in care at first.  But after short term placements, then returning home, I was eventually relieved to be in my long term foster placement at 10 years’ of age.  I stayed there until I was 21, so it was a very good foster placement. I am so grateful to have lived with my foster family for such a long time.  To have lived in a secure home, and to have developed lasting friendships in my community.

I now run a consultancy business that works with companies in many countries.  I have four degrees and three children.

My message to children in care: try to have someone to talk to when you feel the need to talk. No matter what happens, you can succeed.

And to professionals and foster carers: listen to what the child is saying, build up trust, and don’t break it.

Read more about Wayne