News > Celebrating National Care Leavers Week 2023: Settle Content Club's Recommendations
Oct. 25, 2023

Celebrating National Care Leavers Week 2023: Settle Content Club's Recommendations

Every month, Settle hosts an internal discussion forum called Content Club - and for National Care Leavers Week, we are sharing our recommendations for books, podcasts, and more from Care Experienced voices. Content Club is led by Nick, Senior Programme Officer, but shaped by the whole staff team.

By Nick Akam

Content Club is like Settle’s version of a book club but covering a wide range of media like podcasts, articles, and TV shows. We set a theme for each month and then search for and recommend interesting content to listen to and discuss.

The team gets together with a cuppa and we chat about what we find interesting and important, what challenged us or changed our opinions, and what we can take away and apply in our practice at Settle. In our office, we also have a shared bookshelf where we leave books that we lend and recommend to others.

We aim to find content that can broaden our understanding of issues and communities that intersect with Settle’s work and highlight perspectives of people with lived experience. This meant it was a natural fit with the aims of 2023’s National Care Leavers Week.

NCLW will run from Wednesday 25 October to Wednesday 1 November.

This National Care Leavers’ Week 2023, the theme is calling on the public, professionals, carers, decision-makers, and the media to CARE:

  • Celebrate care leavers
  • Amplify their voices
  • Raise awareness of challenges
  • Encourage change in policy and practice

If you’re wondering where to start, here are a few of our suggestions:

The Care Leaders Podcast

A regular favourite in Content Club, Luke Rodgers and Karylle Phillips (both lived experience leaders) often joined by Dave Linton, cover a range of topics around the experience of care, and the wider sector. It’s a really entertaining listen with lots of frank takes and really useful insights, as they cover both personal and professional journeys.

Lemn Sissay on Ways to Change the World

Content warning: discussions of racism

Poet Lemn Sissay wrote My Name Is Why, a bestselling memoir about his experiences in care and in this episode of Ways to Change the World, he discusses growing up in the care system, finding his identity as a British and Ethiopian man, and about issues in the care system. This year, he’s also published Let the Light Pour In, which is a collection of poems that he has written daily for the last decade:

'How do you do it?' said night

'How do you wake up and shine?'

'I keep it simple,' said light

'One day at a time.'

What would have improved my care and leaving care experience - with Dan, age 18

From Learn on the Go: the Community Care podcast, this episode is an interview with a young person who’s recently turned 18 and discusses his transition into adulthood. In this episode, Dan speaks about language and expectations from social workers, and about how he feels that the preparation for this transition needs to be started much earlier. It’s a thoughtful and empathetic interview, where he also highlights the impact of social worker stress on young people they’re working with and how he’d like to see social work valued.

Lives in Care - BBC Sounds

Content Warnings: discussions of sensitive themes including sexual abuse.

This 3-part series is an interesting mix of presenter Tony Simpson’s own experience of the care system in the 60s and interviews with young people with more recent experience. As the intro states: “the only voices you’ll hear… belong to people who have been in care”.

It's a really thoughtful and honest look at the varying experiences, challenges and long-term impacts on those who have been through the UK care system. The three episodes loosely cover entering care, growing up in care, and ‘leaving’ care.

Samantha Morton on growing up in the care system and facing adversity in the acting world – The Louis Theroux podcast

Content Warnings: Some strong language and discussions of sensitive themes including drug use and sexual abuse.

Actor and director Samantha Morton grew up in care, and in this podcast, she speaks honestly about the impact of growing up in care and the difficulties she faced in the transition to adulthood. She has also made a film about the care system, and in this interview, mentioned a script she’s written about the experience of leaving care but is having difficulty getting it made.

The Black Care Experience Newsletter

The Black Care Experience’s vision is to see Black children and young people remain connected to their culture, identity and heritage as they journey through the children’s social care system. In this edition of their newsletter, they’ve published the history of the Black Care Experience Journey from the 1950s to Present Day. They also recommend TV shows and books that share the stories of Black children and young people in social care in different contexts, from documentaries, films, and novels.

Care Experience and Culture

If you’d like to continue your exploration, Content Club also recommends Care Experience and Culture. This is a digital archive hosted by Rosie Canning & Dr Dee Michell, who are care-experienced scholars. On their website, you can explore literature, film, performing arts, TV, radio, blogs, websites and academic material, and you can explore care-experienced material through their genre lists, from poetry to children’s fiction. They also reframe media that features the stories of care-experienced people that you may have already come across, like Anne of Green Gables or Jacqueline Wilson novels.

If there’s anything you’d like to recommend from care-experienced voices for a future Content Club, or if you have any thoughts about any of the materials we've suggested today, let us know. You can drop us an email via