Lifelong Links in Stuttgart
2 minute read
by Sean Haresnape, FGC and Lifelong Links practice lead
In April, I was fortunate to be invited to deliver two workshops in Stuttgart in Southwest Germany concerning Lifelong Links. Heike, the FGC manager there had heard about our work through our previous involvement in European projects and was keen for young people in care in the city to have access to a support network and for colleagues to hear about Family Rights Group’s work in this area. With great organisation on her part, she planned and hosted two events, one for senior managers and social workers and the other for FGC coordinators.
We had over eighty social work participants on the first day and a further forty FGC coordinators on the second day.
What was particularly interesting, and I suppose a sad truth, was that young people in the care system in Germany have the same challenges as young people in care in the UK. Those present engaged enthusiastically with the idea of Lifelong Links and were committed to taking it forward.
Heike had also invited a young person Valeria Anselm, who had written a book sharing her experiences of residential care and aimed at other residents of children’s homes in Germany. The title of the book is ‘This is (not) my house’. In this, she recounts similar experiences to the young people we have worked with in developing Lifelong Links – loneliness, lack of support from people she is able to trust and lack of availability of support when she needs it.
A number of those present bought Valeria’s book which is now officially on sale here.
Valeria read a passage out of the book at both workshops, and as ever hearing a young person’s real experience underlined the importance of this work for young people everywhere. Let’s hope that is made possible in the future.