Service users speak out

“Children know that their social workers do not love them unconditionally; they truly believe that they don’t care and that they are there simply because they are paid to be.”

These are the powerful words of Hayley Prew, 24, one of five care leavers who have written exclusively about their experiences for Community Care’s special service user edition.

Their articles give startling child’s eye view of the care system, including Michael, 18, who writes: “My mum told me ‘never judge a book by its cover’. That’s exactly what happened in the care system. I don’t even get judged by the way I look, I get judged by what’s on the documents, these large meaningless piles of paper. Shame.”

Care leavers were joined by people with learning disabilities writing about adult’s services in our unique editorial team for this week, including Amy Forgacs, who works for advocacy charity Speaking Up. “I think it’s important, whoever you are, that you have a voice – that you are heard and get your message across,” she writes.

Others blast services from the ground up including Tracey Auckland, who uses her slot in Community Care to say: “I think it’s outrageous that people with disabilities cannot access the services they daily need.”

Are these service user views representative? Email your views to

Read all the articles in our service user special

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