Recommended viewing: Trilogy of short films by looked after young people and care leavers

The National IRO Manager Partnership encourages all IROs to watch these great youtube films provided courtesy of Maureen Cavanagh, Safeguarding and Review Manager at Hartlepool Borough Council.

Looked after young people and care leavers with Cambridgeshire in partnership with CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care with Cambridge university) and Cambridgeshire Picture House have created three animation films that are being used for work with professionals and other looked after young people. The animation films depict the emotional feelings and views of young people regarding their experience of the care system.

The first animation film called ‘My name is Joe’ is about coming into care and depicts the worries and anxieties young people face regarding issues with contact, schools and views on foster placements. The success of this film has resulted in the film now being used by BAAF as part of the formal skills to foster training throughout England.

The second film named ‘Finding My Way’ was made with a group of care leavers and explores the issues involved in leaving care. This again looks at the emotional difficulties young people face in this transition and their hopes and fears for their futures. This film successfully won the 2014 British Future film festival in London Southbank in the young documentary category beating 400 other entries.

The final film in the trilogy is ‘Our house’ which depicts the experiences of young people living in care with the theme of the film focusing on choice with placements to include residential as a positive choice and challenging stereotypes about perceptions on residential care.

All of the films have enabled the young people to have a platform to explore their inner thoughts and feelings regarding the issues in a creative way, to help those professionals working with the young people gain a real understanding of the emotional feelings of these young people and what they are going through.

The success of the film’s was highlighted in Cambridgeshire’s 2014 Ofsted report:

The young people have recently won a British Film Institute award for making a film called ‘Finding My Way’, to support care leavers making the transition from being looked after to independence. An animated film, ‘My name is Joe’, about a child’s experience of becoming looked after for the first time, is another example of the achievements of the Children in care council. This work provides invaluable resources and information for children, young people and social workers nationally to help understand the experience of a child’s journey through the care of a local authority.

Young people who have been involved in the making of these films have also expressed the benefits of these for professionals working with them stating

as the views in the films are only from young people themselves it helps those workers who work with the young people have a better understanding of what the young people are going through and so will help them in the services they provide.

Another young person stated

it makes people think and by watching it you take in what is being said and the messages the young people are giving.’

Thank you to all the children and young people involved in making these thought-provoking films.

2 thoughts on “Recommended viewing: Trilogy of short films by looked after young people and care leavers

  1. Unfortunately I am unable to open any of these films and I would very much like to see them and for my team to see them too.



    Sharon Richards Independent Reviewing Service Manager Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Tel: 01753 690738 Email:



    1. Hello Sharon,

      This is most likely related to the browser installed on your computer. I have found for example that youtube films cannot be downloaded via the councils browser though it is working effectively via home computer. Suggest you please speak with your IT system and if that doesn’t work then you could try via home account. Council IT systems tend to be heavily restricted and some of the browser systems are not terribly up-to-date.

      Please give that a try and leave another comment as to how you got on.


      Sharon Marin


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