Haringey Council last night (14th March) voted unanimously to become the first local authority in the country to give its formal support to the Show Us You Care Too campaign. The campaign is asking for ‘care experience’ to be made a protected characteristic - which would make it against the law to discriminate against those who have spent time growing up in care.
The motion was proposed by Cllr Tammy Palmer (LD-Crouch End), who grew up in care, and spoke movingly about the casual discrimination she faced when growing up, and which still pervades the way people talk about those who are in care. She received a standing ovation for her speech.
There were also contributions from Cllr Seema Chandwani (Lab-West Green) who spoke of her experience of being moved from place to place when in care in her late teens, and Cllr Viv Ross (LD-Fortis Green), who talked about his mother, who was separated from her brother in her care placements.
Speaking during the debate, Cllr Palmer said:
“People who are care experienced deserve better. We are underrepresented in every profession. We are barely ever asked for our feedback or input into the policies that affect us. It’s okay for people to use offensive language to describe us and to discriminate against us.
“When I got elected four years ago, it probably meant more to me than most other people because I promised my six year old self that one day I would be brave enough to tell my story. That I would talk about why people like me matter.
“So I’m asking you to support this today. I want you to help me call out and challenge the misconceptions that people have about people like me. It’s not easy, and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. But I think if we agree to listen, to learn and to understand, I have real hope that we’ll make things better for the future.”