“It’s very easy for social workers and children’s services agencies to believe they are helping children who are in care and this self-belief is reflected when we tell each other we are ‘acting in the child’s best interests’ which is a phrase I hate. The sad reality in children’s services is we only rarely hear directly from the young person themselves and while many are helped, many also feel confused and lost in the system.
Agi Gault has spent her life time dealing with the legacy of a childhood in the care system that she describes as living in ‘the third space’. This space being something of a nether region where carers and social workers were sure they were there for Agi while Agi’s overwhelming feeling was that she was an outsider to what was happening. Agi has been incredibly courageous to dive into her life experience striving first to make sense of it for herself and then create this incredibly honest and incredibly well written book.
I am very thankful that Agi has has had the courage to write this book because all children’s services professionals whether field staff or leaders need to read it. This book is doubly important because Agi not only grew up in the care system she has worked as a social worker within the child services for much of her adult life. The crucial challenge Agi raises is about belonging and connection – Agi tells us that like so many looked after children she flet she was being treated as a problem to be solved rather than a child to be cherished and loved. To be able to better create lasting connection and belonging for children in the care system we need to listen Agi!”