Katie's story

‘I would change my childhood, all of it, but now no, I wouldn’t change anything. I think The Children’s Society have helped.’

Katie was 14 when she was removed from home due to neglect.

She was placed into foster care and was moved to different placements over the next years.

She used to run away from care and go to parties where she would drink with older men.

This is her story.

Life at home was horrible, rough.

The house was unhygienic and dirty. I never used to listen to mum or dad, I couldn’t stand my mother.

I got kicked out of school for throwing a chair at a teacher, and then I haven’t been to school since. So I just spent time with my little sister.

I felt brilliant, happy, I could go and do what I wanted.

One day social services came to where I was living. Me, my brothers and my sisters all got put in separate cars and the cars went different ways. Nobody told us anything. I was shocked, crying, upset. I was only 14.

From there, I was just passed to a foster placement and then from there to care homes.

It was hard. Very very hard, emotionally. No sisters, no brothers, no mother and father, no nothing.

You don’t know the people you’ve been placed with, you don’t know where they’re from, you’re just put there and, 'get on with it'.

I went off the rails

I used to run off. I went to parties mostly. Different houses, different men.

We just went in, as you do, sat down, they bought the drink in, put music on and we just sat there and drank.

I’d get legless. Sometimes there was sex.

I was about 15, but there were men from twenty upwards, to about forty or fifty. I felt happy, loved. I was getting attention. But I was doing things that weren’t normal.

When you first go into someone’s house you don’t know who they are, where they’re from. You haven’t got a clue, anything can happen.

The police used to pick me up and find me, but I always went back the same day or night. Say I would get picked up at 10 or 11 in the morning, then about 7 o’clock at night, I would be gone again.

I was twenty when I first met my worker. At first I was thinking, 'she’s just one of these people that thinks she knows the bees knees and everything', but then I got to know her, and yeah she does. I’ve learned a lot.

A brighter future

At our first meeting when it was one-on-one got a bit nervous and shy. I was eight months pregnant, I ate two sandwiches and we talked about the work we’d be doing.

She’s made me have a better understanding of what was going on when I was a child, all the sexual exploitation that can happen to you. I’ve got a better understanding because of her. 

I've learned a lot

I would change my childhood, all of it, but now no, I wouldn’t change anything. I love me!

I want to go to college to do mechanics or be a builder. I think The Children’s Society have helped.

find out more about our work to tackle CSE

With your help we can be there for more vulnerable young people like Katie.

Teenage girl smiling at project worker

donate today to help young people like katie