Workshop 1: Adults with personal experiences of placement in care

On the evening of March 12th 2013, we held our first workshop in Copenhagen. 14 adults, all of whom had personal experiences of being placed in care during childhood, participated.

It was a very fruitful and inspiring workshop, where we gained an insight into the behaviours that the participants had been criticized for or had experienced as problematic themselves. Furthermore, it was amazingly inspiring to witness the joint inventiveness and creative thinking, which emerged from the group, when all these negative behaviours had to be turned upside down and seen as resources instead. It is not always easy to see the strengths or resources in those characteristics that one has been struggling with or been criticised for, but this creative thinking resulted in many exciting and new ways of seeing these ‘problems’. At the end, the participants were divided into groups, where they elaborated on their suggestions about what professionals should pay attention to in order to recognise, support and develop these resources.

This workshop gave us a lot of material to work with further on in this project. It turned out to be very relevant to involve a group of adult which all had the experience of being places in care during their childhood in common. Because of their personal experiences, they could contribute with a great knowledge about which types of behaviour among vulnerable children and youth that most often is considered as problematic. They could also draw on their own and others experiences from situations (e.g. from their adult life), where these specific behaviours could be converted into a resource.

Besides being very fruitful for this project, it seemed as if the participants also benefitted from the workshop. For example, on participant pointed out, that it could be useful when having to write a resume while another participant added that the fact of having been placed in care as a child could be a skill on its own that could be added to the resume.