After spending 7 years within the care system as a looked after child, Laura decided her career choice had to be within the care system. She left care at 16 years old, homeless and unemployed. She took the difficult decision to return to education at that point and managed to get enough qualifications to set her on the right road to working in the care sector.
Early in her career, she began as a Behaviour Support Assistant at Gorgie Mills School in Edinburgh. She then moved into a new role as a Locum Residential Care Worker, continuing her employment with Edinburgh City Council. She enjoyed working directly with young people, supporting them through their challenging times in various residential settings. However after a few years, she moved into a Home & Parent Support worker role that enabled her to support the individual needs of children and families in family support environments. Laura’s final job in
the care system itself was based in Fife as a Senior Residential Care Worker. This provided some of the toughest times of reflection for Laura, as it became clearer to her that she was part of a system and a culture of working with young people that had not only let her down badly as a looked after child, but was continuing to do so for young people in her care.
In September 2015, Laura took up a new position at Who Cares? Scotland as a Development Officer. She described this as being an exciting opportunity to be part of an organisation that champions the voice of care experienced young people. Laura facilitated, organised and contributed to group work, events and other activities at a local and national level, empowering care experienced children, young people and adults to be heard. Laura believes that there is hope for every child, no matter how unreachable they seem and is looking forward to the day when all care experienced young people will thrive in a life they are proud of, and in control of.
During her time at Who Cares? Scotland she became an active campaigner for the charity speaking at various events including her Keynote at the annual SIRCC conference hosted by CELCIS, the Centre for excellence for looked after children in Scotland in 2016. Laura has also delivered a Tedx talk in June 2016 called “Kids in Care: Lets Start a Revolution” and took part in the STV documentary Who Cares. Laura has also been writing a regular column in Holyrood Magazine. In October 2016 the First Minister announced the root and branch review of the care system, this was the moment that Laura and her care experienced colleagues and friends felt that they had been heard.
Laura has just left Who Cares? Scotland in October this year as she wants to take some time out to spend more time with her husband Steven and their 4year old daughter Maia. Laura would also like to develop as an Independent Consultant before starting her Law degree at Strathclyde University next year. Laura continues to be a member of the Who Cares? Scotland Alumni of care leavers and is proud to be part of the care experienced movement.