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1. 12 months today since the conference for care experienced people @careexpconf. A truly wonderful & for some life changing event that enabled so many care experienced folk of all ages to come together & share their brilliant diversity, wisdom, courage & compassion>
2. @Careexpconf allowed so many care experienced folk to feel valued, proud of who & what they are, & to stop apologising for struggles in life caused by others' abuses, over which they had no control. For once care experienced people were celebrated & not a "burden on Society" >
3. 12 months ago today, the halls of the wonderful Liverpool Hope University rang with optimism, hope & laughter. Outstanding pieces of creative art, sculpture & literature of such power & beauty by care experienced people gave delight & pride to those often denied that emotion>
4. 12 months ago today at @careexpconf, a silent invisible population of care experienced people of all ages not normally invited to speak shared their stories, their wisdom, their experience, their resilience, their vulnerability & their strength. The day & the floor was theirs>
5. 12 months ago at @careexpconf, the care family shared its thoughts about the care system, past, present & future. They spoke freely because their views were invited - not sampled, 'represented' or appended tokenistically or selectively to give credibility to others' views>
6. 12 months ago today at @Careexpconf, the care family spoke passionately about the lack of love & respect in the care system, of ongoing support, of awareness of their individual heritage, of so much simply not addressed by busy care professionals who see cases not kids>
7. 12 months ago today at @careexpconf the care family came together at its own expense & reached out to politicians & professionals. They took the massive emotional leap of sharing their feelings, some for the first time ever, so kids in care now & in the future can be happy>
8. Following conference, the words & wishes of those at @careexpconf joined images of their creativity in the 2 reports. Reports filled with real wisdom to enable a dormant mechanistic care system to start to love its children. Those reports remain a focus of intense pride>
9. 12 months on, looking back, was @Careexpconf worth it? Yes, oh yes. In a very full life, the Liverpool conference will remain high amongst the highlights. We said care experienced people were creative, wise, caring, supportive, articulate, strong - and then we proved it >
10. Did @careexpconf make a difference? To those who made it happen & took part, very much so. To those in power, who plan & deliver services, the jury's out. To those who wanted to hear, the messages were loud. To those who didn't, the professionally deaf, silence prevailed>
11. Today, 12 months on, I greet the team who made Liverpool @Careexpconf happen. You made a difference & offered an opportunity to those in power to grasp the hands of those from care, to move forward & develop the future for kids in care together. That hand remains extended.
12. I call upon those in power, those politicians, civil servants, providers, professionals in the care system, those who meet secretly in closed meetings as you always have to decide the future of those not welcome at your meetings - please listen to the lessons of @Careexpconf
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