Giving a voice to children in care: Callum Lynch's story
Published: 30 Jun 2020
Care campaigner Callum Lynch has achieved national and international impact in just one year since his Fellowship. In October 2018 he organised the first international conference of people who have experience of living in care.
“What is happening right now in the UK is a real moment and we have key decision-makers and influencers in positions where they are willing to listen to young people in care." - Callum Lynch, Fellow
The Global Care Family Gathering, in North Ayrshire, brought together nearly 200 delegates from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, to share their insights on improving the care system. The event involved leading organisations including Adoption UK, the National Confidential Forum and Who Cares? Scotland. The First Minister of Scotland attended this event and there was an online contribution from New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. The day before the gathering, a Lifetime of Love march was held in Glasgow, in support of a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all care-experienced people.
Meanwhile Callum has been working with Scotland’s national care review, working with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has taken a personal interest in his ideas. Callum, who has been in care himself, believes that people with experience of care must be heard for the care system to improve. He researched ways to achieve this on his 2018 Fellowship to Sweden and the USA. On his return, he created a partnership between the Swedish charity Knas Hemma and his own organisation, Who Cares? Scotland.
Callum now sits on our Working Group for Children in Care, which is developing a new category of Churchill Fellowships in this field, due to be launched in 2021.
Callum said: “What is happening right now in the UK is a real moment and we have key decision-makers and influencers in positions where they are willing to listen to young people in care. This is because care-experienced people are owning their identity and challenging both societal and systemic barriers that are in place, in order to give themselves equality in their worlds. We are now identifying that care-experienced people are coming together in communities and challenging these barriers - and it is powerful.”