Pooky Ponders: How could we better support young people leaving care? | Ceira walsh

Today’s question is “How could we better support young people leaving care?”and I’m in conversation with Ceira Walsh a recent care leaver in Jersey who WILL become the director of children’s services in Jersey one day.  You’ll gather from the interview that Ceria has a special place in my heart; She or I would love to hear from anyone listening in who might be able to support or guide her in her dream of studying social work in the UK.

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Show transcript:

Please note that the transcript is auto generated

Ceira Walsh: I’m Ceira I’m 18. I’m Cara experienced and I live in Jersey

Pooky Knightsmith: and you are my unofficial niece. So Kira and I met for context, uh, Kira and I met, I guess it was about a year ago now. Yeah. Just say, uh, yeah, I was over in Jersey and you were doing brilliant work, uh, kind of advocating for young people and talking about mental health and that kind of thing.

And you kind of blew me away and I know you’ve not always had the kind of easiest time happy. So I try and look out for you a bit and I’m hoping that some people in my network will help you with your mission. You can talk about your mission. So, so tell us, like what what’s going on for you at the moment.

Then what’s inspired this conversation for us. 

Ceira Walsh: So obviously I’ve just have CA I am 18. Um, and I wouldn’t go in social work within child protection. So obviously it’s an area I want to be in, you know, make it improve it. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And what kind of, there’s like a bill and motivation for you about that, about wanting other kids to have a different experience maybe than some of the things that have happened with you.

Is that, is that fair? Yeah, I 

Ceira Walsh: think so. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So what would you, if you could go back in time or you can go into the future and you can imagine like a future kind of care retirement, what kind of social worker would you want to be to them? What 

Ceira Walsh: I think I’d want to be consistent. Okay. Because I obviously, I can’t talk for everyone across the UK, but of course we are quite a small night and there’s big, large, quick turnover.

Um, so I had probably about 12 social workers in two years. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. But the problem is you get someone and they start doing work and then obviously the next person comes along and has to start again. So then there’s a lack of consistency. There’s a lot of breaks. And when there’s a lot of great things, don’t work as they should.

Like what, so you could be, so you’ve got an assessment going on. So for me, I had the three months assessment, but if you got, and I had a few because my case got closed, but say you have your case codes then reopened. You’re starting from the beginning. It doesn’t get picked up by you. Left off. Why not? I’m trying to write this out myself.

I don’t know. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So you have to start all over again with your story line, to the next 

Ceira Walsh: quote, simply telling your story. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you get sick of telling your story? I 

Ceira Walsh: think so. I think, especially when you’re in Kat and not just involved with children’s service. Cause when you’re in care you meet like 10 million people, don’t you?

So. You meeting someone yet and they don’t, they don’t come to you and know what they’re talking about. They come to you and expect you to explain this all, but then, then you wonder why, where you’re expected to start, 

Pooky Knightsmith: because you don’t know what they know or because you’re not, 

Ceira Walsh: they know, or they come to and they said, they’ve read your file, but you don’t know what your file will say.

So you don’t know what’s in there. Yeah. You 

Pooky Knightsmith: want to pick apart in there already. Isn’t there, so, okay. So you want consistency, you want to know what people know about you and, and what, like, when you do meet a new social worker, have you had, I mean, you’ve experienced a lot of them clearly. Are there any that stood out for you as being either particularly brilliant or?

Ceira Walsh: Yeah, so that was one that was really, really good. Yeah. But she stayed for four weeks and then she moved back to England. Oh, 

Pooky Knightsmith: What was good about her? Let’s think about those lovely four weeks. 

Ceira Walsh: See, a lot of the time, I feel like when you’re going into cat or prior to your move into care, your. Common misconception is you’re going into care because you’re the bad one and you’ve done something wrong.

However, she wouldn’t have that opinion. And when a social worker is it’s, um, it’s quite obvious that as a young person, we’re not, we’re not sick now as being young isn’t to say that we’re delusional or we can’t see, because we, we do obviously. So I think that that was a big, different, different, I think it’s more attitudes that is perhaps to work.

Pooky Knightsmith: Okay. So, so someone who doesn’t make assumptions about you because of your age and that kind of thing. And do you, do you think that that’s like commonly felt, is this just your opinion or, you know, other young people feel. 

Ceira Walsh: Overseeing that today I’m quite good friends with quite a few calibers. Um, and I think all of us think it.

Pooky Knightsmith: Okay. Okay. Um, so what, what, you know, just thinking specifically, we were particularly thinking about the, kind of the care leaving moment in our kind of, we can cover all sorts of stuff today, but what, what was good? What was less good about that leaving camp? 

Ceira Walsh: Um, so I think it’s different for everyone. Yeah.

I think it’s very, very individual, but for me, I was told that I was leaving care in a meeting of about 15 people. Um, and my social worker looked to me and she said, you’re leaving. You’ve got a week to me if you choose one. So I, I think it needs to be sensitive and I don’t think, I don’t think it always is.

Um, I think it needs to involve a young person. I don’t think it always does. Um, and I feel like this, like age 18, like that’s, that’s really a cutoff, isn’t it? And I don’t think, I don’t think it should be. I don’t think it works for everyone. You, you wouldn’t, you’ve got two kids per K two little girls and on their 18th birthday, you wouldn’t go knock on their door and tell them they’ve got a week to me now.

So I’m not sure why it’s.

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. The 18 cutoffs are really weird one for me actually. Yeah, because you know, my children, one of them is, um, is adopted well, she actually, she’s not, she lives with us under special guardianship order. And legally the day she turns 18, I no longer have any responsibility for her, which is, I mean, it will play out, but like legally that’s just.

Ceira Walsh: No. Yeah. And it’s, I suppose it’s the worry that comes with it as well. Like you, you know that your you’ve got your leave, but you don’t know by your gut. So for me, I left, then I went on to spend time at women’s refuge and a shelter, but I just left care. And I think it, I, I don’t really understand because it’s like, when you leave K, you really do leave care.

Yeah. Well, so 

Pooky Knightsmith: just, just backpedaling slightly then. So did it, was it, was it like your 18th birthday or was it kind of around then? So 

Ceira Walsh: for me, it was when I was 17 because I had a social worker that did a parenting assessment, but when she did this parenting assessment, she didn’t speak to me once. So that was a really big lack of communication.

There was no relationship that this is probably vital if you’re a social worker of someone in care, but again, like it’s bad, that’s the truth. Um, and she sat in the meeting and said that she’d done this parenting assessment and she decided I was moving. And that was sort of that, um, 

Pooky Knightsmith: assessment, is that an that’s an assessment of, of 

Ceira Walsh: parenting 

Pooky Knightsmith: who’s parenting?

My parents. Right, but you 

Ceira Walsh: know, 

Pooky Knightsmith: how could they tell, I mean, I have so many questions, Kira. Okay. 

Ceira Walsh: So she did this parenting assessment, right. Without talking to me. And then she decided from that parenting assessment she did, when she had a real lack of communication, neither I was going to go home. Oh yeah.

Yeah. But when that, when that didn’t work, I ended up at a shelter and she said, if you’re so worried about her pets, I back at the shelter. So all the pressure was around me. Um, but that happened for nine months. And so obviously it was just a cutoff. There was no, there was no given. It really was just a cutoff.

But from then I left care on that was that.

Pooky Knightsmith: Wow. So what happens now then? So you are living in a hostel at the moment. 

Ceira Walsh: Yeah. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And you, I know because we’ve been talking about it. Um, I suppose it’s up to you, they kind of w w I know a little bit about your situation and your plans and your hopes and stuff, but yeah.

W, I mean, you’re happy to talk about that a little bit. What’s next for you? And where 

Ceira Walsh: is I want to move out? So my foster is run by children’s diabetes, which is quite ironic considering that they’re the reason I’m at a place like that. Um, so I want to move out, but the whole system with moving out when you are a caddy, but is that is more competitive than it doesn’t need to be.

I think it’s a hell of a lot more. Descaled at least B. Um, especially considering I only intended to stay in Jersey for not the year. I want to go to uni off Island. Um, cause we we’ve got a social work degree here. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s only been in place for Garrett and yes, 12 places on it. And considering my situation, I, I, I wouldn’t want to do.

Very small Island. I’m not sure I will be doing a social about case for the hair. No, no. 

Pooky Knightsmith: I want you over. Okay. So we can hang out, which would be 

Ceira Walsh: ideal, 

Pooky Knightsmith: so, okay. So you’re going to be here for a year. So you’re going to send, cause you’re saying, cause you’re doing a course for the next year, right? Yeah. So where are you going to live for that year?

Ceira Walsh: I don’t know, I intend on being outfit in the next month, but with the way it works, like you, you got told this is going to happen, but you never really know. Okay. Um, so I, I hope to be able to go into that smell. I don’t really know. I’ve not really got a clue. Um, but it’s been like that for a long time.

You know, like the system doesn’t work very well and the system’s not very fast. So it’s, it’s about getting what you want, but you. He already knows. I can tell you I’m going to be living the next year. Where would you like to 

Pooky Knightsmith: be living? 

Ceira Walsh: I wouldn’t be living independently in the shot. That’s the goal, but who already knows, 

Pooky Knightsmith: but you’re in the, it’s essentially it’s a hostel or a children’s home 

Ceira Walsh: that you’re in at the moment.

Honestly, I think it’s a bit of both the people that have come from a children’s home have said this exactly the same, but I would know, cause obviously I didn’t come from Hey. Uh, they call it supported accommodation. I’m not sure if I’d be that generous with the time.

Um, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t really know. I think it’s a mix a bit. They call it a supported accommodation. I’m not sure that I’d use. Okay. Rich is staffed anyway. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Okay. Okay. Is there anything that’s good about it? W w w any, any little. 

Ceira Walsh: I’d say no, but that’s just because I’m really independent for my age. I think if someone had been in the situation I was in, but they were told so suddenly they were leaving and they needed somewhere and they needed some or quickly, and they really did need to be more supported and they were independent.

Some are like that, but she, them quite well, I knew that is people here that it does do quite well because it is quite hands-on in terms of. What they’d call support. Um, and I know that if you’ve come from a children’s service home and jazzy to where I am, the staff are consistent because they just move around the homes.

Um, so there is that bit of consistency, but obviously that only comes if you’ve come from a children’s service home. And I think pieces like this are quite hit or 

Pooky Knightsmith: miss. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and, and I think that’s the, that’s a bit of a challenge there. Isn’t it? And as you say, you’re 18, but you are a very independent it in, and you’ve got a lot of ideas about what you want and how you want to live.

But some 18 year olds are maybe 

Ceira Walsh: not. No, I always, when I talk to people that my age, I expect them to know, because I know exactly what I want to do. I’ve got my whole plan set out. I’ve got a whole time scale. I know what I want to be doing. And so I talked to people that my age aren’t expecting them to have the same, but a lot of them really don’t in fact, like early twenties don’t either.

So I don’t think it actually is common. Listen 

Pooky Knightsmith: in our thirties still haven’t figured it out yet either. So yeah, you’ve got to really see, and I love that about you, that you’re so driven. Has that been no plan for a long time? Like you’re going to go into social work and you’re going to kind of make it different for kids like yourself.

Ceira Walsh: I thought I’ve had the plan for a really long time. It’s not always been social work. I started off thinking I want to do a teaching. I wanted to teach English. Really liked it at school really did well. Um, and then I thought, no, I want to do law. I wanted to do family law. And then now I’m pretty set on social work.

I wouldn’t be director of children’s service in Jersey or elsewhere. Yeah. In Jersey. Yeah, I like I tell people about my goal was all the time and some people say you’re never happy with what you’ve got. I think it’s just having ambition. And honestly, we should have more too. Y. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah, I think it’s the, the thing to aim for.

And I don’t, you know, I don’t know what exactly the route would be to being director of children’s services, but I certainly think the first step in the direction is to want to have your goals. And I know I do a lot of work around, uh, coaching people and that kind of thing. And I think having a really clear aim means that you can begin to take steps towards it.

Like stop your mind. 

Ceira Walsh: I think exactly. Like, I always thought, like, if you don’t have a name, then you’ve not really got a clue what you’re doing, because if you’ve not got an eating than what you’re actually working towards nothing, because you don’t know what your end goal is. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. So, yeah. So you want to be director of children’s services and you’re going to do this buyer doing a year of psychology in Jersey, and then you want to go and do your social social work degree.

Yeah. So tell me what have you, because you’ve been researching this haven’t you about why you might go to do your social work degree, what it would be like, what, what do you imagine, like going away to uni be like for you as a care leaver, will it be different than for the other students on your 

Ceira Walsh: course?

I think the lead up to going away to uni is because I feel like in jazz age, obviously it’s so small. Um, And it’s a bit different going from jazzy to uni in England than it is from living in England and going to uni and the different piece of England. Yeah. So for me, I’ve obviously got my family and jazzy, of course siblings.

The youngest is my little sister she’s five. Um, and so I knew from the get go, I want to be in the South. Like, this is my first port call. I’ve got to brought out places. Um, so I knew I wanted to be in the South. And then it was about that. I could get to him from quickly and easily. And then I started looking at the courses because I thought there’s no point looking at course somewhere I don’t want to be.

And then thinking that I liked the course, and then I’ve got a real big dilemma. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You’re very practical actually. Aren’t you? So when you came to, so we kind of, we’ve nailed it down to places that are near airports, presumably that’s a key driver. And what were you looking for then once you began to be able to look at the courses, what kind of thing.

Ceira Walsh: I looked at a lot of them, like a lot. And at first I was looking at the theory side a bit, but a lot of unis that’s essentially the same. You’re getting the same degree. It’s all social work. Um, however, in a lot of them, the patients really varied my top two choices, I think anyway, right. Virtual open days are really quite difficult, but after them, I think that my top two at Brighton and Bournemouth.


Pooky Knightsmith: great universities. I’d have to say I’ve worked with both. So tell me why they’re your top choices? 

Ceira Walsh: Uh, lots of patients with children and obviously I wouldn’t be a children’s social worker, but a lot of universities and a lot of social work degrees that the placements you’re looking at with adults, elderly people, this sort of thing, but as much as I do it and I’d get through it because I do want to be a social worker.

I can imagine myself doing payments like that for three years. Yeah. So that’s been just straight up about it. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah, I think, I think if you’ve got an aim and it’s specifically to work with children, then working with children’s teams and in PR you know, an appropriate way in, well, so is it, are these specific children’s facial?

What degrees then you’d be doing or is it just that you can choose? No, 

Ceira Walsh: I haven’t seen any. That just children’s well, I still always Southampton do a course, but in the third year you can specialize in children or adults. So that’s my third choice. Um, but I haven’t seen any that are specific. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Okay. Okay.

Yeah. I don’t know much about the routine, but I will know people who know. So, uh, we’ll we’ll pick up. I did, 

Ceira Walsh: I did think it was a bit annoying if I asked, because you know, if you’re going to do something like nursing, you can just stash it eyes and your whole degree, but you can’t do that in social work.

Pooky Knightsmith: That’s really frustrating. I’m going to have to ask you again, bear with me one moment. Otherwise he’s going to pull the door through the whole thing. 

Ceira Walsh: No wants to say hi.


Pooky Knightsmith: you can’t grumble because otherwise we’ll have to stop. Um, okay. Sorry. Let me get my, my train of thought. So, okay. So we think we, we want to go to sort of Southampton aborts it now in terms of like being a care leaver, going to university, how, like, 

Ceira Walsh: I mean, So why 

Pooky Knightsmith: does your stuff, like, do you not have stuff?

Like where does that 

Ceira Walsh: go? Yeah. So this is actually, I’m dealing with all of this at the moment, because it is, I can’t even lie. It’s hugely complex. It really is more so than it needs to be. And I think, I don’t think that’s, anyone’s doing, I don’t think it’s intentional. I think it’s because there’s a real big lack of understanding.

Um, and because people would have paid to deal with this problem and it’s not their immediate issue. There’s quite often a lack of care. However, for us young people, there are no guns universe. Your finance is quite a big problem. So from what I can gather at the moment, it’s say I was in a flat for a year in Jersey.

I then use my flat because I’d be in England 

Pooky Knightsmith: and you don’t need it anymore. Yeah. 

Ceira Walsh: Well, that’s what people say, but then if your daughters went to university away from your house, you’ve been just getting rid of that bedroom. I mean, you’re in chaga stuff out, but it happens. Um, I, I don’t really know what the expectation is because obviously our student finance as fundings, like tuition fees, accommodation, whatever, but what then happens when you go home or where your things go, or the fact that you will then finish your degree, move back and be homeless.

I don’t think it’s an issue that’s been dealt with before. I think it’s quite new. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So, so you’ve not got anyone else you can speak to. Who’s kind of trodden this path and figured out? No. 

Ceira Walsh: No. So I’ve got friends that don’t do grease in a caddy bus, but they’re doing that degree in Jersey. Yeah. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And is that something, so have you been encouraged to stay in Jersey and do your degree there because it’d be easier or 

Ceira Walsh: no.

Everyone has encouraged my goal of moving away. Um, and. I do want to move way. I was born in Jersey. I was brought up in Jersey and so realistically I’m always going to live in Jersey. I don’t do change. So I know that the only time I move away, it’s going to be to universe and it’s going to be to move back.

However, what happens in the process? I don’t know. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you think like you’re putting on a really brave face about it? This is quite, I mean, it’s a big problem. Yeah. What do you think would help.

Ceira Walsh: I think it should have been thought about. I really do. And I’m not quite, I feel like when you’re Katie, but stereotypically you’re, you’re not very academic. You don’t intend on going to uni. You’ve probably got an AGS Jesse’s and your probably addicted to drugs. Like if someone told you they were a caddy, but that’s what that was like the automatic thing people think like you’re deemed to be unsuccessful.

And so that, yeah, I do. I do. Yeah. I think that’s a standard and there’s not very high. 

Pooky Knightsmith: You think people expect you to kind of live down to that standard. So this question of what happens if you go away to universities.

Ceira Walsh: Yeah. And don’t get me, don’t get me wrong. There’s a few very rad, but as a few that are interested in goals, however.

What, what is anyone meant to do? That’s not been set out anywhere. I mean, we’ve got whole County just off her hair and it came out in February and it’s about funding. You can get to things and accommodation and education and whatever you name it. It’s probably in your offer as what we can, what we’re entitled to as caregivers.

How about that? It’s quite complex and says nothing in that about what happens to your things. For why you lead while you’re put up or whatever, when you go to university, if you go away. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So, okay. So, but there, so there’s something good. So there’s progress because this isn’t it, which is awesome, but it just, it’s not tackling this particular issue you’re facing the PS, your, the first 

Ceira Walsh: person that you’re aware.

Yeah. I think, I think it will become more and more common. Yeah, I do. But as of right now, I don’t think they talked about it very much. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you think you’ve got a responsibility to kind of future young people like yourself who might want to do this to figure out how to make it work? 

Ceira Walsh: I think that whatever happens to me in the next year and when I moved away, do you name when I come back, we’ll certainly shape what happens to people that then do it after me.

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you think the things that could go wrong or could go right here? 

Ceira Walsh: So I think what could go right is I know because I, I think that the things that could. I think that the answer I get to a lot of the things that I’m going to need in the next year, it could be there’s no resources. Um, for example, what practically I need is to know that someone somewhere is going to be paying my rent while I’m away.

Because as a university student, you’re, you’re, you’re probably gonna find just about zero that are able to find like 800 pounds a month for run. But apart from that, what, I don’t think there is anything anyone can day, because obviously that’s a bit, that’s the biggest issue, because that would be what keeps people in jazzy from car leaves and drives that you from going away, do you need, it would be the fact that they’ve got no back to this.

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. So housing is a really, really important part of this. And is there anything there about kind of, you know, you as a, as a care leaver, do you still have a social worker? Do you have any adult role models or 

Ceira Walsh: shy? I don’t know if it’s like this in England, however, I hit it. You have a social worker, but then you have like a PA, which is a personal adviser and they essentially do the role of what a social banker would do.

But when you asked cat, so you can have a PAs and when you’re 14 and they worked alongside your social worker till you’re 18, and then you just have your PA until you’re 25, which is amazing because it means you’ve got ongoing support until you’re 25. This is if they stay for the whole time. Um, but yeah, I think it depends because if you don’t go on with your PA, then you’re, it’s not gonna work.

Um, but that they have to talk to you four times a year. So it’s like every three months they should talk to you more. But again, if there’s a lack of relationship, there’s a back ablation check. Um, and then 

Pooky Knightsmith: like a mentor or 

Ceira Walsh: yeah. Or like practical things that helping you with housing, education doctors, opticians, dentists, like things like that.

Um, and then they say they offer emotional support, but that’s again, questionable. Um, 

Pooky Knightsmith: You want to feel it okay. Questionable. That’s actually going to have a massive deals. I mean, I work 

Ceira Walsh: with it is a big thing, like when your age. Yeah. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And you got a lot of you, you know, you’ve got more than your typical load of kind of emotional stuff going on there.

So emotional support seems quite a big, important thing. 

Ceira Walsh: Yeah. A lot of the time you’re greeted the Dyke, the response I’m not trained. And you often think, well, I’m not either, but I’m still going through it. So there’s got to be a middle ground hasn’t there. What would be 

Pooky Knightsmith: helpful in terms of emotional support?

What would you want your PhD? 

Ceira Walsh: You know, sometimes a bit of understanding goes a really long way. Yeah. But I think, I think that’s about relax and I don’t think all the time it’s intentional. I don’t, I think. If they don’t understand, they don’t understand. Um, and there’s not a lot you can do about that. And that’s, they, they want to understand how, what 

Pooky Knightsmith: would you want them to understand?

What, what, what understanding is lacking though? 

Ceira Walsh: I think sometimes it’s not quite understood that you, you don’t actually have a support network. That’s a normal family house. Yeah. It’s like sometimes they think they can leave work at five o’clock and you’ve also just go home. Unfortunately when you’re caddy, but that’s not usually how it works.

Um, but I didn’t quite understand it. I really don’t. But maybe that’s because I am the candy buttons, so I know what I won. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. Yeah. Not say it sounds like, yeah. You have a, a bit of an idea about what that might look like. Do you think having been in care and being a care leave now? I mean, obviously this is a really like massive part of your self identity and your future and what you want to do in the world and stuff.

Would you ever, do you think, just not wanting this to be part of your story that’s quite so front and present, or do you think it will always be really key? 

Ceira Walsh: I don’t think it would always be, or I like to think it won’t be any way. Um, like for me, being ever since leaving cab was awful or being in care, I was thriving.

I was fostered. So I was for the family. Um, and that wasn’t an issue for me. How has the, I think it’s a stigma that comes with it. And I think it’s the process of leaving that for me was the problem. Um, Well, obviously it shaped my goals a hundred percent. I want to be a social worker and had I not been in care had like 14 years of involvement.

I probably wouldn’t want to I’d have a much different plan. Um, but I’m quite, I don’t, I don’t think I just want to take it away. And two I’m quite content with my plans. I’m quite happy with them and I don’t, I don’t regret it at all. I think, I think it will become a smaller part when I’m not still in the situation.

Um, and I think, I think I always use it like in practice, but I didn’t think it would define me and maybe like 10 years time. And I’ve got a fully established career. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Tell me about it 10 years time when you’ve got a fully established career, then what do you imagine life is going to be like, like where will you be living?

What will you be doing? What would your day-to-day be? What’s the dream. 

Ceira Walsh: So in 10 years time, I’ll be 28 and I should graduate when I’m 23. So that obviously gives me five years in between. Um, and I hope that in that time, maybe I can, like, I wouldn’t be in that house. Yeah, I’ve decided I wouldn’t be maybe in a relationship, but like that are questionable.

And I, he needs anyone anyway, not me. So who knows? I could just be like for the independent women it’s sides against that. Yeah. Um, I wouldn’t be, I do want to be working as a social worker full stop because I did think about this and I don’t think I’d just run, come straight out of uni. It goes straight into social right role.

I think what to do something in the middle. Yeah. So we have like a children’s rights team and jazzy. And I think I went to work for Dan when I finished uni. Um, for bet. What do they do? So they’re quite good. They are quite good. I don’t think everything they do is children’s rights related. I don’t, because they’re quite heavily about relationships, but I really like really like is honestly, they’re like the three people that meet, quite understand that.

But we actually are quite low.

Um, so I want to do some work with that. Yeah. So if you told them, Oh yes. I’ve told Todd Shariece site team manager. She’s incredible Barbara. And he told her that I’m going to be her manager one day. So she should take my feedback at the moment. Does she take your feedback? Yeah, she does. Most of the time.

Anyways, like today I said, you should go rock climbing. And she said it was an awful idea, but besides that, 

Pooky Knightsmith: it’s fine. Rock climbing when I’m next day, but we’re going to get can, um, uh coasteering aren’t we, so, 

Ceira Walsh: um, so I’ve told her she does usually take my feedback and this is something quite risky. Um, Um, and then, yeah, so it wouldn’t be in a house that I want to be on my way, like progression, because I’m all about progression.

Like again, some people would say it’s like not being happy with what you got. I call it having ambition. Yeah. Um, yeah, so I, yeah, so I think 10 years I’ll be social, but like that, however, I want to be quite a good one, like working my way up because obviously I will be director children’s service and that requires.


Pooky Knightsmith: So I’m interested about this when you do a job really well, like say you are the best social worker, which I see no reason why that wouldn’t be the case. Then when you progress, often you move away from doing the thing you’re really good at because you have to start kind of managing it. And you know what I mean?

Ceira Walsh: Because obviously the director children’s service doesn’t have a cage though. What was that like, I really did about the pros and cons of this. So obviously there, you don’t have a case though. You’re in a bad position to make bigger change. Do you, I 

Pooky Knightsmith: mean, I do. So you think that it’d be okay to not be working with kids day to day?

Cause you’d be influencing what the people below you were doing 

Ceira Walsh: with the kids. I don’t think there’s anything to say that you can’t still meet young people because you’ve got to get the views from some, but haven’t you, do you, 

Pooky Knightsmith: or do you just decide? 

Ceira Walsh: Well, I think. I think it depends on the person. I think a lot of the time they just sigh.

Um, however, I think the director we’ve got at the moment meets young people. I’ve met him a few times. He really does listen. I told him too that he needs to listen to my feedback because I’m going to be in the role scene. What did he say 

Pooky Knightsmith: about that?

Okay. So, okay. So there’s a good director of children’s services then at the moment. So you think that you would aspire to do something similarly to how he’s doing it, right? Yeah, I would. 

Ceira Walsh: But tell me what he’s doing. Well, I think he quite likes meeting young people. I think he quite likes getting views and I think he’s quite the problem solver is very efficient.

Okay. But he only does that after this thing to people and no, that’s so good problem. And so, but, well, I think you have got to, since people haven’t you, 

Pooky Knightsmith: I think you do. And how would you go about listening to a, you know, diverse range of voices, of young people? How does he go about that kind of engagement work?

Ceira Walsh: I think it’s, I think it’s pens. I think it really depends. Um, and what it’s about. Like sometimes I think there’s things that are really quite specific and other times it’s like everything can nothing, both at the same time. Um, I, I don’t know. I think it depends on the person depends on the young person, because again, like, but we’re also different, like there’s things I’m doing now that other caregivers won’t do.

So that may be like 22 and vice versa. Um, I think it depends on the person and the goals they have and what they want to be done. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And what does the current director of children’s services think that you need to do in order to achieve your aim of having his job? Presumably once he’s finished with it, I guess.


Ceira Walsh: Not, not if I decide winter sooner. Um, I, I mean, he, I, he knows, I want to go to uni. Um, and he knows I want to do social work and I straight up told him I was coming to his job. Um, I think, I think I was probably maybe the first that told him that.

Yeah, I think, yeah. I think it’s quite difficult though, because like maybe a lot of young people think they want to do something, then change their minds. And so sometimes I think maybe people aren’t taking steady risks because they think because I’m young, I’m just going to change my mind. Like when I do talk about housing and I see that I’m going to have no, but when I come back, I’ve often told what’s to say, you vote to stay in the UK.

And I know very well and very determined and I’m going to be right back here and jazzy once I graduate. Um, so I think, I think also, but I tell people increasing head. They think I’m just going to change my mind or that I’m joking. I will change my mind in like 10 minutes. However, I thought this goal for a very, very long time.

And if it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to be directed at children’s savvy. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And do you, is there any issue with being director of children’s services in, in Jersey? Because the, you know, you, you specifically don’t want to do your social work degree in Jersey because you know, everyone and everyone knows you and that’s quite complicated and I’ve done a lot of work with Jersey and similar places.

And I get that. Why will that be different after 

Ceira Walsh: you graduate? Because. When, so obviously if I was doing a patient of a children’s office in Jersey, it a student social worker, we’re on different levels because they’re pretty qualified student. So therefore my opinion would be less valuable and easier to like diminish.

However, if I was fully qualified for both the unseen Debow. You 

Pooky Knightsmith: proper thought this through Cara haven’t you you’re basically going to go away for three years. Become awesome job. Then come back like a fully formed butterfly and be like I’m I’m yeah. I’m with that. 

Ceira Walsh: Yeah. Okay. I did think I told you, I thought that’s it.


Pooky Knightsmith: I know. I know. I know this. I get that. I’m just, I haven’t quite made that bit of the, I haven’t quite understood that bit, but now that you explain it, it makes perfect sense. And I don’t have any more questions on it.

Okay. Okay. So, so one of the things, as you know, um, that matters to me, uh, is you, um, and I care about what happens to you and you’ve had not the easiest time, always, you know, this isn’t the place to go into all of that. But, um, what I would like is to know that you’re able to work towards those goals that you have, because what is why I think you will be an awesome director of children’s services.

And so we need to help you make that happen. What are the things in your way at the moment? Like how can I help or how could my network help you? 

Ceira Walsh: I see, I’m not really sure.

Pooky Knightsmith: Okay. So we need to have a bit of a think about that. We maybe need to think about if, um, there will be people in my network, for example, who are involved at Bournemouth or Brighton, we to talk choices, you might be able to talk to you about the course. Is there, um, what, um, when do you have to kind of decide and put your applications in and that kind of thing?

Ceira Walsh: Um, between September and December ish. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And when will you have to work out what happens about housing and stuff? Or do you just do that at the same time? 

Ceira Walsh: Honestly, I’m hoping I backed that part up quite soon, because if not, I think it would just become more stressful. Um, the problem is I don’t even know if I’m going to be in the next month, obviously.

So once I’ve got that sorted, I then know. That my next questions are what happens when I go to TNA. And I think the next year will probably be the most stressful, the next four. Um, but once it’s done, it’s done. Once you get answers, you’ve got answers happen. It’s just about what you’re doing or does get them.

What, what’s the 

Pooky Knightsmith: motivation for doing this year in Jersey before you go off to social work degree? 

Ceira Walsh: So obviously I was just the sixth form. Um, and in jazzy we have only like two. Public 16 plus auction. Yeah. We either go to Highlands. Yeah, it’s a vocational course. Um, and you do like one subject and it’s the question of three eight.

I’ve always put it’s like one subject is obviously more vocational or you go tell ya. I went heard yet. I heard he has a school. It is a sick form. But you can do like up to four academic aid levels. Yeah. So in my first year I heard, yeah, I did psychology business, um, photography and English. I dropped English and then in my second year, so I’ve just done it.

I did business again, um, finance, which was an innate level. Um, it was difficult and photography. However, because I did it this way. It meant that what I have, what I’m guessing is the equivalent of one eight. I bought a certificate, which is equivalent to, um, And so that was going to be, I couldn’t get into uni with that anyway.

So I was like, okay, how am I, how am I going to solve this problem? And I knew that regardless, it was going to be so hard to me to get on a social work degree at 18 years old. Um, so I wasn’t too fast about this because I got like between an eight star and a B the whole way across the year. So I wasn’t really too fast that I’m having to find something else to do for another year.

But I was like, how am I gonna, how am I going to fill this up while I don’t do something that’s going to make me hate my life for a whole entire year. And then the thought process was, but, um, I’m going to need something that gets me up enough to want to go to uni and too is, is relevant because obviously I’ve just done business and finance that has zero relevance to social work degree.

And also I’m 18. So there was absolutely no way I was about as guests on a call. Cause your age will always go against you when you’re as young as I am trying to get to social likes gray. Is that right?

Pooky Knightsmith: Right. Is it, I, I don’t know. I’ve never tried to get 

Ceira Walsh: on that. I applied to this psychology course. Um, as you could have a three eight levels in one year, which would then get me up to the equivalent of about five, eight levels.

Um, and. Short course it’s only. Yeah. And it also gave me a bit of leeway and working out where I’m going to less, what I’m doing, where I want to go to uni, where I can go to uni that I can get back easily applying to universities and having more of my personal statement is relevant to the degree.

Because at the moment I’m going, I’ve got a childcare qualification, I’ve done the psychology AIS. Um, I’m quite bright in business and finance and I’m a waitress, but not much of that is very relevant 

Pooky Knightsmith: that you’ve done with, um, Jersey mind. I mean, there’s 

Ceira Walsh: an element youthful minds. Yeah. That’s really good.

But in, although it makes me stand out, it wasn’t going to make you stand out enough. And I quite like being different. And I like aspire for these bonds unconditional next year. Um, let’s say I’m doing a psychology course, but when I got into it for this course, the whole way throughout my interview, I was being told that he was going to, because you know, you’re really going to have to fight for your place in a social work degree.

And I said, yeah. And he goes, you know, because of that, we don’t usually pay people your age. And I went, okay. The whole way throughout my interview, I thought, Oh no, there’s no way I’m about to go on this course. But I got offered a place there. And then I was like, wow. Yeah. So it’s a one-year course. It’s three, eight and one year.

And it’s psychology. So I know it won’t be. Dull and boring. And that’s sort of what I wanted to avoid this year. I was like, I don’t want to just bore the absolute hell of myself for a year because I’m not sure I cope with that. I’d get to the end of the year and I’d just be done with it. Um, so it’s a course that you see J which has obviously the uni in Jersey.

Um, and it bought me a bit of time and gets me a big qualification. Um, and it’s, it’s marked in a really good way. It’s essays the whole way across a year. I can write it pretty good that say, and I just, I want to have enough that will make me be able to get offered an offer quite realistically, because at the moment it just, there was no way I was going to get on course.

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you think that being care experience is going to help you get onto a social work course? 

Ceira Walsh: I think so. I do. I, I think a lot of the time people, my age don’t usually get offers easily or social work degrees because it’s thought you’re maybe a bit naive. You don’t know what you’re walking into. And it’s a hard line of work emotionally.

It’s challenging, but I don’t think I am naive. And I think that a lot of the getting offers on degrees like that, it’s when you are so young, it’s about proving, you know, You know what you’re getting yourself in for, because for all the people, it wouldn’t be, I’m looking at needing a raise across the board in all that’s getting off.

It is so academic when you’re so young, but for someone that was maybe 15 years older than me tend to be into it, it would be about life experience. Yeah, 

Pooky Knightsmith: I see. Yes. Got to, yeah, you’ve got to show it through your exams. Cause that’s what you’ve kind of got, but you have got the life experience as well because your carry experience.

So you did bring that to the table and that’s, I’m 

Ceira Walsh: also 18. So naturally people look at me and they think that I’ve no.

Pooky Knightsmith: How does that make 

Ceira Walsh: you feel? I’m not gonna lie. It’s quite patronizing. Really pasteurizing. So I feel like I’ve been about 45 since I was about three. Um, but yeah, I look at the time put I’m only 18.

It’s ashamed. I just don’t. I don’t know. Um, I don’t know anything. Can I just, I go to school, I leave school. I come home and I do nothing, but that was obviously not case, um, I think when you are a caddy, but you’re seen as the same way every other 18 year old is, and stereotypically that’s you, you’ve not got clear what you want to do.

Um, you’ve probably got no goal, whoosh, anyone you’re catty, but you’re just not seem to be that bright either. It’s like from the get-go you’re stereotypically, like probably dropped out of education. Just don’t waste the case. 

Pooky Knightsmith: I feel like you’ve got a, that you want to prove here, like your there’s a lot of stereotypes and myths that you’re 

Ceira Walsh: there is.

I feel like I’ve always proving myself, but I think that comes part and parcel of being called Eva. You know what, and it’s horrible because if you are a experience, do you know what people think of you? And usually it’s not very much. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And how come, you know, what people think of you? What do you mean?

Explain that 

Ceira Walsh: it’s there is a type that people think you are, you will, it’s like, you’re not individual. You’re just all the same. Wow. Yeah. There’s no like individuality at all. And do you do, do you think it’s 

Pooky Knightsmith: difficult because you don’t have anyone championing your cause or maybe you do, but like, you know, if you were living with your family, then perhaps you’d have a parent or a carer.

If you’re still in care who would be kind of height fight in your corner and tell them don’t, don’t lump carer with everyone, she’s careless that she’s the other. But do you have anyone who does that for you now? 

Ceira Walsh: Yeah, but the problem is they work nine to five. Do I mean like, okay, so I’ll give you an example.

You’ve got two daughters and post five o’clock you wouldn’t just be unavailable to them, but when you Academy you get to five o’clock or we can, and that is done. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So, okay, so there’s care there for you. There are people that care, but they care nine to five. Yeah. 

Ceira Walsh: They can on five or you’ve got some that are very, very set in their ways or they make it quite obvious that they’re doing what they’re doing because they’re paid to be doing it.

And that’s totally a hundred percent fair enough, because you’ve got a job to do. You’re getting paid to do your job and that’s fine. However, you, you wouldn’t tell your kid that. You’re getting paid to look after them and not, that is why you’ve gotten, but 

Pooky Knightsmith: then playing devil’s advocate kind of fast forward five, 10, 15 years.

And you are a social worker, don’t you think it’s going to be really important that you put really good boundaries so that you’ve got time for yourself and maybe your friends and family and stuff outside of your work, or do you think you’ll be kind of on it all the time? 

Ceira Walsh: I think you have to have boundaries, but I think there’s a very fine line between having boundaries and being callous.

And it’s a very easy one to Croft. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And what tells you when someone’s kind of crossed that? Is it a very physical thing, literally I’m not available or is that a way in which people talk to you or behave towards you that makes you think they don’t care? I 

Ceira Walsh: think it depends on pattern or relationship you’ve got between nine and five as well.

Like if you’ve got no relationship, then it’s hardly a surprise that they don’t care about you, but.

I don’t know. I think it is about people’s attitude or you get some that tell you that they also carry experienced and they relate. And it’s why they wouldn’t go into that line of work, but they still don’t care. How will you know, sometimes, sometimes I worry about it because I think when I get like 40, but I just, I forget what it’s like and then not care either.

Um, I don’t know, you avoid for quite a long time. But then I thought, I don’t think I could imagine just not caring. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Yeah. I can’t imagine you not caring either, but. Then maybe the social workers who you’re thinking of who are care experience would have felt that about themselves. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Ceira Walsh: I have no, he thought the whole thing confuses me. I think I had to quite a lot. Yeah. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And do you think that, so, okay, so your 40 year old carer and you have, um, got some fairly decent boundaries in place cause you have to look after yourself and maybe you’ve got other things going on in your life too, but you’ve got a case load.

Is it about like literally being, so those kids outside holding them in mind, knowing that you care, even if you’re not physically available. 

Ceira Walsh: I think this is a thing I think there is some why, if they talk to you, you know, they’re thinking about yay. However, if you’ll just stay like. If someone’s a bit, um, distant and cold throughout the whole entire work day, you’re not, you’re not going to think much about it at all.

And the amount of people you’ve got, they’re going to care about you anyways, probably quite, um, minimal. It’s a quite small number. If you’re lucky to have a number, um, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think, I think it’s got to be a mixture of a team. I just, I couldn’t imagine working with someone and knowing they had no one out and being completely content being a bit cold.

Pooky Knightsmith: It’s a bit about though, as you, you sort of alluded to the strength of that connection in the working day, actually being really available for them when you are available. 

Ceira Walsh: I think, I think it depends. I just, I don’t know the whole, it just confuses me. It restart the whole thing. 

Pooky Knightsmith: And what role do you know, as, as you said, you haven’t, you know, you, haven’t got a big number of people in your support network, not surprising, but does that mean that like your friends and your peers play a different role within your life than they might do otherwise?

Ceira Walsh: I don’t think so. I think for some people it probably could day. Um, because obviously if you’ve got really no, when I was your friend, then I think if you’re more reliant, Then that is where it differs, because I know, I know that I’m really independent for my age because I am so young, but not everyone is like that.

So I feel like if you are more, I say needy, but that’s probably a better word. Um, then it could become maybe a bit of an issue, but otherwise I don’t think so.


Pooky Knightsmith: I’m just thinking like, yeah, sorry. It makes me really think it gets into being cookie. Just sit there and think. No, but you have really, no, that’s it like, you have really made me think about a lot of things and I think it’s really important for people to hear your voice and to think about some of these things.

And it’s hard actually, like as a mum, you know, you are only eight years older than my daughters and the idea that. They could be just often the world expected to do things completely for themselves at that age is, yeah. I find that very, very hard and I guess, you know, that’s why I do care about what happens and I would want to help, but I think it’s a little bit like.

You said about wanting to be director of children’s services. I can help you. I hope. And I hope you’ll let me, but I can’t do that for like each individual need. And so what do we need to do, like on a bigger level to make it better? Like if you were going like, so, you know, you do the director of children’s services in Jersey for a while.

Like what’s even big. Other than that, like

Ceira Walsh: I do.

I think it’s because all the files are so different, so different. Like, I don’t think not all of us are going to get into 18  um, because that is so standard, I suppose, or is what, what, for someone that isn’t care experience, that is what is the norm? Um, yeah. I don’t think everyone does that. Some people take up, yes.

People that aren’t count experienced, differ, but so the way, and because we’re carrot experience, it doesn’t come like a personality trait. Like it doesn’t make us the same or have the same interests, um, or likes or dislikes or hobbies. We’re not, that’s not how it works. We don’t all have the same needs at the same time, at the same age and at same stage.

Um, and so if you’d like, it would be quite different, be hard to make a difference, a big difference to everyone at the same time. 

Pooky Knightsmith: So there’s not going to be like a universal set of sort of strategy systems that can be put in place. But maybe it’s about thinking about what, what support is needed to make sure that each young person has a kind of tailored plan.

Isn’t it? Mm Hmm. Okay. I think we need to, we’re going to need to keep thinking about this. We’re going to need to keep thinking. So I think I’ve just realized the time we’ve been talking for much longer than it feels like what, what as we kind of come to wrap up, what kind of thoughts would you like to leave people with?

I always think, you know, you did psychology, primacy and recency effects. People. Remember the first thing you say, and the last thing you say, so what are you going to leave with? 

Ceira Walsh: I don’t know. 

Pooky Knightsmith: That’s rubbish. Kate, try again. 

Ceira Walsh: Let me think about it. This wasn’t in your pre podcast, email 

Pooky Knightsmith: it wasn’t in my email.

Well, okay. Okay. 

Ceira Walsh: Maybe it’s your last then you want people to think about. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Do you know what I would, I would like people to think about is that they’ve met you now and you have, I hope bought the idea of a young person who has experienced care to life for them and the, when they are making decisions in their life, in their work that they actually just imagined, you know, what would care say in their head?

Because you’re right. Not all experienced care are all the same or similar, but I think sometimes we forget, um, we almost lose sight of the fact that you’re not just numbers you’re people. 

Ceira Walsh: Yeah. Yeah. 

Pooky Knightsmith: I don’t know. What do you think is a question I should look to explore in like the episode with someone else?

Like, do you have any ideas about who might be a really good person to interview or question that you think must be answered? Must be it. 

Ceira Walsh: I think you should ask same questions. You asked me to a social worker. 

Pooky Knightsmith: Ooh, I like that. Okay. Okay. Right. You’re wrong. Okay. So I’ve got to go to the hump, but good social work.

It’s taught to me. Okay. I’ll take that challenge, Cara. Thank you.