Creating a character

The crew came together again in York city centre as The One Percent journey gathered momentum.

First the group were asked to consider what they would change if they were in charge of the care system. This is what they said…

  • Change the way they advertise for foster carers £££
  • Give foster carers mental health training
  • Help young people with real life situations
  • Create a safe place for children and young people in emergency situations so they don’t find themselves in police station interview rooms
  • Change the way placements are set up
  • Meet face to face with potential placements for a conversation
  • Always have information to provide young people about placements such as pets, bedroom picture, hobbies and interests of foster carers, pictures of the house and how long the placement will last
  • Proper closure when you leave a placement
  • More support for foster carers
  • Sibling relationships, trying to retain the bond no matter if they are fostered or adopted

The group were then tasked to create a care experienced character to represent a shared experience of the group. The group would use the character to create storylines that represented an authentic experience of a young person transitioning from care to independence.

The team drew a character on flip-chart and explored both their inner thoughts, feelings, barriers and hopes and external circumstances, living situations, support networks, engagement in activities, education and relationships.

Inside: Thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How do I reach my goal?
  • Aspirations to achieve in life
  • Feelings about separation from family members
  • Hopes for financial stability
  • How will I pay all my bills?
  • Wanting a stable home
  • Depression
  • Constant pressure on social media
  • Worrying your not good enough
  • Impact of childhood trauma on mental health
  • Improving mental and physical health
  • Feelings of abandonment
  • Stress of bills
  • Positive influences from friendship circle
  • Anxiety
  • Support from Pathway team
  • Housing concenrs
  • PSTD
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Struggle to communicate your thoughts and feelings

Outside: Circumstances, situations, housing, education, employment, relationships

  • Mental health issues
  • Missing school
  • Societies expectations of your life
  • 1 bedroomed flat
  • Positive relationship with foster carers
  • Regular meetings
  • People taking advantage of you having a flat
  • Maintaining relationships
  • Trusting relationships and misuse of trust
  • Care leaver
  • Difficulties with birth family relationships
  • Course at college while balancing part time job
  • Applying for university or doing an apprenticeship
  • Not living up to the stereotype

Lauren then categorised the outputs into the following themes:


  • Care leaver
  • Better relationship with foster carer than birth parents: better influence
  • Suffered from mental health problems
  • flat: 1 bedroom
  • Positive relationships with foster carer(s) + regular meet ups
  • Been through the care system

Home life:

  • Difficulties with family relationships
  • 19 yeas old – girl
  • Support with pathway


  • Course at college while balancing part time job – national diploma
  • Missed time during school

Thoughts and feelings:

  • What do I want to do next?
  • Financial stability
  • How did I pay my bills?
  • How do I get to my goal?
  • Constantly worrying they aren’t good enough
  • Abandoned
  • Struggle to communicate your feelings/thoughts

Mental Health:

  • Depression
  • Social media – constant pressure, negativity
  • Anxiety
  • Possible PTSD
  • Childhood trauma that can vary how it affects their mental health – plate metaphor (the plate will never look the same once broken)


  • Stereotypes
  • Family issues
  • Societies exceptions on life
  • Bills
  • Housing issues
  • Money
  • Mental Health

Time Periods:

  • Being separated from family memories
  • Financial failure
  • Seen a decade in the care system
  • Alcohol abuse


  • To succeed in life
  • Have a stable home
  • Health improvements physical + mental
  • Attend university/not follow the stereotype
  • Have positive influences in life from friends
  • Good management of finance
  • Maintaining relationships – people taking advantage & trusting relationships without ones who misuse the trust 

The team are making giant strides in developing a character they are creating powerful themes and key messages.