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Emma's story- 'How my upbringing ignited my passion to advocate for other children'

Emma Keegan

Emma one of our supervising social workers speaks about her upbringing and how it impacts the work she is doing now. Emma entered the care system as a teenager at the age of 15 and says,

'growing up in an unstable home, feeling as though I was failed by many professionals, ignited my fire to become an advocate for children in care.'  

What do you want to do? What are your dreams? What do you want? These are questions that Emma has never been asked while she was in care and learning from experience, she now knows how important it is to make a child’s voice heard. As a professional now and throughout her whole career, not just as a social worker, but when she was a youth worker, a student liaison officer, or in the pastoral department in a school the child was always at the centre for her. That is the reason she now loves working for Nexus.

“Everything Nexus does is with the child at the heart of it”.  

Emma loves working with teenagers and young adults. She believes that the right foster carer can change a child’s life. Thinking back to her childhood, Emma knows that if she had been supported better, she would have gone to university a lot earlier. Stigmatizing a child on where they come from takes away the opportunity for the young person to truly show their real colours. Everybody deserves a chance to be judged by their actions and behaviours rather than being attached to negative labels and brushed off as an “unruly teenager” because they are in care. A child should not pay the price for their parents’ actions.  

Emma urges the importance of opening your arms and minds to children in care.  

She says “I wanted my mom, and I wanted my dad, but I didn't have one. And it was unfair because they didn’t do their part. And as an adult you struggle with that. Children and young people need support to understand that it is not their fault. They have a right to be angry and no matter what they need to know you're going to be there for them. And once you do that, you will literally have a friend for life because they will never forget that. They might not remember it at the moment, but when they're older, they will look back and they'll go - I was so lucky to have them. They changed my life.” 

Now a Supervising Social Worker for Nexus Fostering, Emma prides herself in the work she does for her carers and their children and young people. She is passionate about helping them to become experts in their field.

She explains, 'When I first meet new carers, I am excited to get to know them and see them thrive in their new role. Every carer develops their strengths and becomes an expert in what they do. This is also due to the extensive training and support Nexus provides throughout your fostering journey. We also have a dedicated specialist for every possible scenario in-house.'

Emma has now started her fostering journey and is experiencing the process of becoming a foster carer herself.

'I am beyond excited and can’t wait for my first placement!'

Do you have experience in care and want to help others like Emma? Contact us today.



Fostering stories


  • Advice
  • Young person
  • Long-term fostering

Date published

16 February 2024

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