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Listening & Learning

  • admin
  • 19 September 2016

Listening & Learning

Posted by: admin | 19 September 2016| Categories:

What is acknowledgement?

It can simply be when you give someone a gift and they say thank you, when you see someone in the street and say hello to which they respond.  The gift and the greeting are acknowledged. It can also be the acceptance of the truth or existence of something, as well as the recognition of the importance of something. A lack of acknowledgement can leave people feeling like that they haven’t been heard or that the listener didn’t care, that the gift you gave wasn’t appreciated.  To acknowledge what someone has gone through can be essential in helping that person cope with a situation either past or present.


Everyone deserves to be heard, believed and accepted. It can be extremely powerful in helping someone to move forward from what has happened or to start that process. For others, the opportunity just to share their experiences and not be challenged simply lifts a burden and that is all they feel they need.  It is personal to each person. If the truth is never heard and if people feel like they have never been listened to, this can make it difficult to come to terms with what has happened and move forward. 


The Forum acknowledges the experiences of those who spent time in care, both at a personal level for an individual at a hearing, and at a national level through our reports. We provide a safe place for people to share a time in their life that perhaps they have never spoken about before or have found incredibly difficult to speak about. There is an empathetic understanding and a form of attentive listening which is supportive in helping people to talk about their experiences of their time in care. 


Some participants have felt believed and heard for the first time. They were able to express how they felt and to share their experiences without fear of judgement. It was accepted, understood and some felt a burden had been lifted.  Most people who have come to the Forum have said they want to make sure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. They have highlighted that it is important the right people are employed in care roles and are well trained. By acknowledging their experiences as a society, we aim to inform learning and policy development for children in care now and in the future.

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