Adam (them/they) reflects on the support they’ve received from the EveryYouth Network after experiencing homophobia and leaving the care system. Here, they write their story in their own words:
“I’m Adam* and I am 23 and a care leaver.
Growing up, my mum suffered domestic abuse in her relationship and mental health problems. When I was 12, there was a violent argument at home which led Mum to leave our step dad. We packed some bags and fled to a friend’s house, and were put into emergency accommodation by social services.
We moved temporarily into a women’s refuge together, sharing a room. After a while we moved into our own council house, I remember me and my sisters missed a lot of school during this time and home life was difficult.
“At 15 I came out as an LGBTQ+ person. The carers I lived with were homophobic…things became too difficult to live there and I moved again“
A few months later, my Mum attempted suicide, she was hospitalised and me and my sisters were taken into care by social services. Mum was okay physically but we would not be able to live with her again. We moved into a young people’s home, where around 12 young people lived with key workers who supported them. We stayed here for around 6 months, until I went to live with my first Carers. My sisters stayed in the care home.
Over the next few years I would be moved between five different carers. During this time, I suffered with trouble at school, difficult emotions and found it hard processing the things that had happened in the past.
At 15 I came out as an LGBTQ+ person. The carers I lived with were homophobic. There were other teenagers living with us, and they bullied me. Eventually when I was around 17, things became too difficult to live there and I moved again. I stayed living with other carers until I was 21, when I applied for my own council flat and moved out on my own.
“A keyworker has supported me with things while I have been learning to live on my own”
I was referred to Roundabout’s Supporting Tenants scheme and have a keyworker who has supported me with things while I have been learning to live on my own. He also suggested I get involved and volunteer with this Peer Education project.
I am now working part time for The Care Council in Sheffield and have been volunteering with Roundabout’s Peer Education project for the last year. I like to share my story because I think it is helpful and important to teach people how and why people might find it hard to live independently and keep secure accommodation.”
*name has been changed to protect their identity