Through sharing our stories and experience we hope to help other young people
Hey! It’s Aimee, Chelsea, Dillon, Lauren, Lauren Ellen, Lucinda, Lynn, Mark and Sean here and we are the young people behind the Changing Futures Website. We all come from different backgrounds but we share the same experience of getting help from Tusla services. And it’s these experiences that has shaped the website. A bigger group of us came up with the idea for the site because we didn't fully understand why Tusla was involved in our lives. We thought we could change this by making a website specifically for young people, by young people.
Tusla realised the importance of this website and gave us full control. We came up with everything on the site from the name, logo, colours, design, images and layout. We spent lots of time writing and rewriting the language and tackled lots of big scary words like "access" and "care plan" because when you understand the words they aren't that scary anymore.
We made lots of videos and they are a big part of this website because we feel young people are more likely to get their information from watching videos. We filmed workers from Tusla that explained their roles in child-friendly way so that young people can learn a little bit about the work they do before they access Tusla services. We have filmed lots of young people that have a positive experience of being involved with Tusla too - this is the best part of the website because it shows other young people that getting support is OK, and it shows them that help can work.
We think this website could really be used by anybody, like teachers at school or friends of people in care who are trying to understand a situation. And especially any young person who needs help from Tusla but would like to know more information about the type of help and workers, with information coming from young people just like them.
We really believe that giving young people information empowers them to be more involved in making decisions about their own lives and we hope this website will be a tool to help this. We think it will Change Futures, it’s changed ours!
We couldn’t have done all this without the support we received over the past three years. We have loads to people to thank! Most importantly all the young people who contributed to the website; the young people whose voices you hear throughout the site really helped bring it to life. And especially to the young people who shared their personal stories, they are the heart of the site.
All the staff from Tusla who made videos, the services that allowed us to use their facilities to film and especially The Cottage Home Family Support Service who let us use their space for our research group meetings and looked after us so well. And to all our workers who made sure we got to every research group meeting and outing.
To the experts - the lecturers and students at IADT, Dun Laoghaire who helped with the design, animation and filming and the team at Piquant for building the website. The Fighting Words team for helping us prepare for the launch.
Lastly we would like to thank Tusla for taking on the project, listening to young people and giving us the platform to share their positives stories. We think you are ChangingFutures!