Picture parents hanging outside school gates. Their children are having a quick smoke before class. This is what happens to a child in care. Smoking kills but for them the message is clear some lives are more valuable than others. The legal age to buy cigarettes is 18. We know that 6 percent of Briish children aged 11 – 15 smoke but how does this compare with 11 – 15 year old people in care of the state? Surely it must be less. Surely there must be statistics?
I can proudly say I’m a non smoker. I became addicted in the children’s homes. They were cancer nurseries for developing underage addicts. I’ve spent nearly thirty years fighting a losing battle against the addiction. At last I’ve won. It’s no big deal until I look back. Nobody encourages their child to smoke. Why would the state do that to me (and many other children in their care. Is there an institutionalised unquestioned unspoken narrative about our lack of worth? Why would they leave so many of us with a death wish? Why has nobody investigated the nature of addiction in the care system?