Support for Young People in Need
Nicole Butler has just started the role at South Tyneside Council which will see her working with young people in care to see how services can be improved for them. She will also help identify employment opportunities for young people leaving the care system.
The appointment is further evidence that the Council is delivering on its priority of supporting young people in need.
Nicole, who grew up in South Tyneside but now lives in Sunderland, said: "As someone who grew up in care, I will be better able to relate to young people in the same situation and build relationships with them. I will then be able to feed back their opinions to management and the systems for care leavers will just get better and better."
Mum-of-one Nicole, 25, grew up with a foster carer in South Tyneside from the age of seven.
She said: "I look back and think it was hard to be in foster care but it was also rewarding. I would not have the life I have now if I had not been in care and if it wasn't for my foster carers.
"I applied for this role because I wanted to give back. I didn't realise it when I was younger but the Council is so passionate about helping kids in care and I want to be part of that. Services for young people in care have improved dramatically in recent years and my role is about understanding what is still needed and using that information to help make them even better.
"My foster family is so proud of me and it's wonderful to be back in South Tyneside where my roots are and seeing the people I grew up around again."
Nicole is also hoping the role will help her achieve her dream of becoming a social worker or personal adviser - someone who works with young care experienced people to prepare them to leave the care system.
Before securing the role, Nicole was a sessional worker for the Council as part of a scheme aimed at improving the life chances of young people leaving care by providing the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in paid roles.
Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "It is vital that we listen to what young people have to say to fully understand their needs and then seek to shape our services to match those needs. I am confident that Nicole will be an outstanding ambassador, both for young leavers and the Council."