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Louise Allen

Louise Allen is a campaigner for the rights of looked-after children, and the author of a bestselling series of books based on her experience of fostering children and the founder of Spark Sisterhood.

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About Louise Allen

Louise Allen was a foster and adopted child who underwent an unspeakably tough childhood, with cruel and sadistic foster-parents in the 1970s who then adopted her. She managed to stay alive by eating scraps fed to her by travellers camping nearby and found solace in art and the beauty of the natural world.

At the age of 15 she ran away but found herself in a series of abusive relationships and resorted to drugs and alcohol to bury her pain. Eventually, her skills in painting and drawing and her determination not to let her childhood define her were what helped her forge a healthy adult life. The publication of her memoir, Thrown Away Children, in December 2017 coincided with the start of her campaign, Looking After Looked After Children.  She firmly believes that there is hope for all children who have been abused and that a damaged childhood does not need to scar a person for life.

Louise is the author of the bestselling Thrown Away Children series, which tells the stories of some of the children she has fostered and their often heartbreaking pasts. The latest addition to this series, Sparle’s Story, was published in October 2023.

Louise’s guide to adoption, How to adopt a child was published in April 2021.

Now happily married with her own children, she also fosters children herself, and campaigns for a better system, doing what she can to right the wrongs still being perpetrated against foster children. Louise founded the charity Spark Sisterhood which creates a mentoring/networking-chain’ between experienced and successful business women, women who have themselves been in care, and girls leaving the care system now.

Spark Sisterhood aims to break the negative cycles of struggle. These struggles are often associated with the start of independent living (post care), and are typified by social exclusion, homelessness, unemployment or involvement in crime. There is also the risk for girls leaving care of being groomed or exploited, as well as the increased likelihood of becoming pregnant compared to other teenage girls.

Spark Sisterhood aims to break this cycle, by offering friendship, guidance, mentoring and support as these girls leave the care system and are at their most vulnerable. It aims to offer tailor-made apprenticeships, funds, life skills support, job opportunities, business start-up opportunities, education and training. They also provide advice and guidance on keeping safe, whilst celebrating all that is important and joyful about being a woman in the 21st century.

Louise has appeared on BBC’s Front Row, Saturday Live, That’s Life, Loose Women and This Morning.  She is an inspiring keynote speaker, in April 2019 she spoke at The Care Experienced Conference to a mix of lawyers, foster carers, academics, social workers and — for the first time ever — people who were in care.

To book Louise Allen, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email enquiries@thespeakersagency.com

Speech Topics
  • What girls really want
  • The 9 colours of fostering
  • My father was a paedophile
  • Do we really care?
  • The Spark Sisterhood
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