Charlotte Grimason

Charlotte Grimason graduates this week with First Class Honours from her Social Work degree BA (Hons)

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A student, who graduates this week with First Class Honours from her Social Work degree has spoken about how her own experiences growing up in foster care have shaped who she is today as well as her plans for the future. Charlotte Grimason, 22, lived with foster parents from the age of eight.

“I feel foster care had a big impact on my early life as I moved around a lot. It felt that having the status of a ‘looked after child’ automatically gave people the view that I wouldn’t succeed in life, and so I wasn’t pushed to reach my full potential. However my mom and dad - foster carers - were a big part in helping me get to where I needed to be and were always a big support.”

“I also felt a lot of determination to prove everyone wrong and that started with obtaining my GCSE’s, then A levels and progressing into university.”

Once at university, Charlotte made the most of her opportunities, enjoying several work placements and even a year abroad in Malta. Her final year dissertation, which looked at the outcomes for looked after children, also gave her encouragement.

“I was thrilled to be an anomaly in terms of what the statistics show,” she said. “In achieving First Class Honours I proved to myself and everyone that I was capable of achieving the very best despite early adversities.

“I feel having the experience I have has helped with my studies, as I understand social work from both the service user side and from the social worker side, and that improves my practice.”

Since completing her degree, Charlotte has gone on to secure a job as a children’s social worker, where she is determined to play her part in ensuring the next generation of looked after children have a chance to discover their own rich potential.

“In my own career I want to help children and their families - and adopt the positive approach that I experienced - to try and make a difference to those who face early childhood adversities,” she said.

“No matter what happens in children’s lives, they deserve the chance to show their true potential.”

And with a First Class degree to her name and a rewarding career ahead of her, Charlotte is now looking forward to having the chance to celebrate both her own success, and that of her friends at graduation.

“I’m excited to finally be graduating as I never thought I would,” she said. “I was devastated when I heard that our graduation last year was postponed, and as COVID-19 also started to make its mark I thought that I would never get to graduate with my friends after working so hard.”