The NSPCC helped me to get my voice heard
"I made contact with the NSPCC and I was so happy to find Tessa* still worked there. I had met Tessa several years before when I was placed into care after my parents were sent to prison. She had offered me support and advice back then.
I told her about some of the concerns I'd had in my foster placement and why I'd run away. Tessa talked to me about children's rights and helped me to understand that children have rights too. She explained that I was entitled to have a say in what was happening to me in terms of my care order and where I wanted to live. She helped me to get access to the review meetings about my care order.
"The support I received helped me to feel like a worthwhile person. The NSPCC made me feel as though I was believed and they believed in me. Trust was a big thing for me."
Initially I was told I wouldn't be able to stay with my relative and that I would have to be placed back into foster care. But with the NSPCC's help I was able to appeal against that decision and eventually the decision was overturned and I was able to stabilise my placement with my relative and stay there.
The advocacy support I got from the NSPCC helped to build my confidence and made me feel as though I could stand up for myself. I now fully understand my rights and I know how I should be treated. I felt less anxious about things in my home life which meant I could be more at ease to concentrate on being a teenager, having fun and doing well at school.
If there are other children who feel like they need help and support I would say to them to contact the NSPCC. Talk about your problems and the NSPCC will listen to you and tell you how they can help or how you can get help. By telling my story I hope it encourages other children to speak out and I want them to know they're not on their own."