Jason recalls having had involvement with social services since his birth. He recalls being separated from his eldest brother who went into care at a young age, whilst he remained at home.
One of his first placements was a large bedded residential home at 13. Jason describes his care experience in residential as “some of the worst times, whilst some of the best” Residential care for Jason was a positive in that it reduced the focus on family and for Jason he found this easy to cope with as he admits that his friendships were considered more important to him.
Jason was fostered at 16 and describes this as the best thing that could of happened to him at the time as it offered him stability. “I went from chaos and no rules to, some boundaries and learning how to behave appropriately” For Jason residential care symbolised child in care whilst living in a foster placement felt more like living a normal life.
Musical theatre became an strong interest for Jason growing up as he was fortunate as a child in care to experience all the wonders the arts offered. He went on to become an ambassador for Stoke-on-Trents New Vic Theatre where he shares his experiences of care and creates opportunities for care experienced children and young people to learn the world of art and drama. Jason says “Theatre, drama and arts is a great way to build positive relationships with young people and inspires alternative career options”
Jason began working with the local council facilitating sports related activities for children and young people and it was here he recognised a gap in participation and engagement. From being a youth worker - doing direct work with children and young people, to becoming a service user involvement worker - managing the children in care council, making the role more youth led and overseeing participation engagement, Jason’s passion for working with children and young people in creative ways has grown immensely. Jason currently works as a participation worker for “The House Project” which supports care leavers to live independently in an innovative and forward thinking way.