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Resources for allies

Reclaim's short guide on how to be an ally for care experienced people and some collected guides and articles by care experienced people and allies:



Language that cares

Language That Cares is a collaborative effort led by TACT that aims to change the language of the care system.


Our Care Our Say

Our Care Our Say took place in 2020 with the firm belief that people’s different experiences of Care, through their life course, is of incredible value in developing the focus, aims, delivery and outcomes of the Care Review in England. Those who contributed to the survey and event are set out in the reports to inform the way in which the Care Review in England is conducted and the areas in which it will focus attention.


The commodification of lived experience

I have always been relatively outspoken about my experiences both within the care system and mental health services. I think a lot of this stems from having my voice silenced for so many years, but also from the normalisation of relaying personal histories and traumas every time a new practitioner would enter the picture. The truth is, the constant pursuit to be listened to is exhausting. But what is more exhausting is the constant pursuit from organisations to exploit this vulnerability.


Her Name was Jean: International Women Day 2021

Hi, my name is Jamie, and I’m a 39 years old, care experienced counsellor / psychotherapist living in London. I'm moved to write this first reflective piece to honor my birth mother Jean, and all care experienced women and birth parents who were harmed by failures in our society to support those who have experienced complex trauma. We should remember their names and tell their stories. Her name was Jean, and growing up in care no one shared her story with me.


The Children’s rights Movement and the Charity sector

The close relationship between the care community and the Charity sector goes way back in time and it has undoubtedly brought many benefits – at times operating as a huge support to the work of the care experienced advocacy movement. But there are also examples of how its proximity and at times the outright control over our lives during the difficult but important task of self-determination has proved a largely deeply uncomfortable experience.



Throughout August more than 1,000 people took Inc Arts’ #BAMEOver survey, and on 4th September 2020 over 250 people came together to reset the terms of reference for people with lived experience of racism. We set out to answer the question, ‘What do we want to be called?’ Through our discussion we’ve come up with a guide to terminology, for use by everyone who wants to be an effective ally and wants to avoid causing further harm through the use of casual and inaccurate language.


Relational Activism

Relational activism makes change happen through personal and informal relationships. It's open to anyone who wants to achieve social change but may not choose to participate in the demonstrations and campaigns of more “traditional” forms of activism. A Relational Activist is someone working with empathy, compassion, the ability to connect and form networks, with an understanding that sustained change happens through relationships, and someone who resolutely rejects the notion that those qualities are incompatible with leadership.


"Leaning In" as Imperfect Allies in Community Work

The work of allies in community work is informed by justice-doing and decolonizing practice. A brief description of being an ally is outlined here, as well as understandings of the importance of the concepts of fluidity and groundless solidarity in ally work. Leaning in is described and offered as a way to invite accountability while resisting righteousness. Leaning in invites collective accountability, which is a more useful concept than personal responsibility, which sides with individualism and the idea we are only held accountable for our personal actions.


Is lived experience a changemaker or ball and chain?

If you’ve been paying attention to the third sector, the media or the political landscape over the last ten years you may have become familiar with the term ‘lived experience’.

It’s a phrase which has been on the rise since the 1980s but is going through somewhat of a resurgence of late at the hands of policymakers and campaigners.


Care Experienced History Month

April 2021 is Care Experienced History Month. Care Experienced people have been a part of societies across the world for as long as can be remembered. We are calling for global recognition of this history through Care Experienced History Month.


A guide to Allyship

An open source starter guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally.


Care Experienced Conference Reports

The Care Experienced Conference – Past, Present & Future? was a 2019 national conference for care experienced people and care leavers of all ages to enable a much-needed debate about the care system past and present. Our aim was for Care Experienced community of all ages and diversity to share their experience and views of how the care system can be improved in future. The reports offer an invaluable glimpse of the many views and different perspectives of those who attended.


Solidarity not charity: Mutual Aid and Being ‘Vulnerable’

What’s the difference between solidarity and charity? Clare Bonetree shares some reflections. I was one of the early self-isolators, not because of symptoms but because I was informed that the medicine I take puts me at a higher risk of serious illness. Overnight I became ‘vulnerable’, one of the people for whom the rest of the population were asked to ‘flatten the curve’. Someone in need of help. I made one last foray to the chemist for paracetamol (I take it most mornings to get out of bed) held a kitchen meeting with a couple of colleagues, wrote a note for my housemates about cleaning, and retreated from the world.


Borrowed Voices. Stolen Stories; The Commodification and Fetishism of Trauma

For many of you, this piece will be an extension of closely followed dismay on my part, to some very unethical and immoral publications. Publications which, by and large have set out to, put simply, profit from misery, pain and in some cases even death. Much of what I have read speaks to a lack of integrity, compassion and basic kindness. The lack of these things coupled with the environments in which these traumas unfold, should evoke great ethical and probably legal concerns regarding patient confidentiality, the prison service workforce and exploitation of those imprisoned, to name but a few.


Revolving Doors Podcast: the interconnections between poverty, trauma and multiple disadvantage

The Knot is a three-part podcast series exploring the interconnections between poverty, trauma and multiple disadvantage and how we may need to respond differently, and from multiple angles, to really address entrenched disadvantage. Each episode features conversations between academic, practitioner and lived experience contributors on these knotted issues and how we might better respond to these. This series is also supported by an accompanying essay collection which you can access

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