Care through the eyes of a child: ‘Foster carers and social workers are there for every step’

A child in foster care reflects on their experiences and gives guidance on what new foster carers should expect

adult and child
Photo: Konstantin Yuganov/Fotolia

by a child in foster care

Coming into care can be an extremely emotional time for any young person but it can also be an enjoyable experience; moving placements is also very hard.

Although it can be very tough for any young person in care, the foster carers and social workers are there with you every step of the way.

Personally I have had fun so far – being in care isn’t as tough as people make out.

I have been included in everything my foster carers have done. They have made foster care very pleasant and have included me in various activities, which I have found myself enjoying immensely.

My foster carers have made my life a whole lot easier in terms of me being able to act my age rather than like someone ten times older than me.

Also, they have helped me learn to relax and not put myself under pressure just because I’m not used to the situation.

Inspiring

The children’s co-ordinator has been very supportive with every child in care, including me!

I have had an extremely hard time being in care in the past, but when I was introduced to the agency that my carers foster for I was in awe of how successful they are and how big they are – they have branches all over the country!

My foster carers are very inspiring; they have taught me to be myself and that you can achieve anything if you try.

One of the questions I have been asked many times at school is, ‘Is being in care like Tracy Beaker?’

The answer is ‘No!’ That is a TV show and we are real, not on a TV show, and our life isn’t that chaotic.

So my advice to people coming into care is to be yourself – don’t worry what people say about you just because you are in care, and when people tell you to reach for the sky just think, why are you telling me this when I know there are footprints on the moon?

This piece is an extract from the book ‘Welcome to Fostering’, a new guide to fostering published during Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from May 8 – May 21.

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