What is a home? When you look at the word, it seems small and insignificant, writes Jarone Macklin-Page. But a dictionary defines it as a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
That definition feels a bit barren to me. I prefer the old saying that home is where the heart is. It means something.
The home is significant. For better or worse it is usually the place in which you have grown up, where you have your first memories of life.
It is the place where you form your dreams. It can be a place of tears and sorrow, but it can also be a place for happiness and laughter, for life, for family.
Often we take it for granted and we don’t realise how much so until the moment we have to leave it – when we see the walls devoid of all the clutter and our personal bits and pieces. Then all we are left with are the memories.
It is at that moment that we want and need to spend a few final moments in that old home in order to say goodbye.
But this is a privilege seldom shared by children in care, according to a recent report from the children’s rights director Roger Morgan who found that 28 of 50 children and young people in care surveyed said they did not know they were moving until it happened.
How is that fair? That a person can be taken from their home and moved into somewhere new with no warning.
I was one of the lucky ones when I went in to care. I had that chance to say goodbye and, to this day, I can remember sitting crying with my nan and my cousin thinking we would never see each other again.
The world is a scary place for vulnerable children at the best of times so let’s try to make it a bit easier for them. It takes five minutes to make a phone call but only a second to break a life.
Jarone Macklin-Page is an actor. He is a care leaver
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