Life under Foster Care
What it means to be parented by a “system” in place of a loving and nurturing home.
There are moments in our lives that have made such impact into the person we've become – some for the better; others are sadly, for the worse. Looking back at these moments, most, if not all, started in a place we call home – or considered “home.” But what if the home we have built our life on is anything but traditional? One that involves living with one family after another or constantly being subject to state care regulations. Such is a life of a child under foster care. We’ve rounded up some anecdotes online from those who have been or are still in foster care.
Read on to find out how their lives are changed forever.
The names of family members have been changed.
‘I was afraid of some of the other kids in my family.
I remembered sharing a room with other children. In my first family there were only four of us, but with my second family there were seven children and it was never very personal or intimate.
I felt like a leftover and like a piece of shit that was being carried around from family to family. I would have appreciated more dialogue and discussions, and explanations about what was happening. I learned a lot of bad things from the kids who were living in the same family (some were from violent backgrounds and sometimes I was scared so I locked my bedroom door at night).
‘I had an amazing experience’
My experience of being in foster care was amazing in 1989. My sister and I were fostered by a loving and caring family. I was four and she was six at the time. We do have two other brothers who were sent to two different foster carers, but we got to see them every now and then. My sister and I were in care with our family for 25 years, and we regard them as our family and love them very much.
The most valuable thing I learned from my experience is that you should never give up on a child, even if they upset you. They just need the time, love, support and energy to get them on track. I did a lot of stupid things as a youngster but my mum never gave up on me.
‘My foster mum said she’d send me away if I misbehaved’
I was very unhappy in foster care. After a few short placements and a year in a children’s home that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Charles Dickens’s novel, I was placed with an older lady. I was supposed to stay for two days but ended up there for 10 years. She was very controlling and threatened to send me back to the children’s home if I misbehaved. But looking back I realize she got very little money to look after me and social workers should have guided her better. Being there did bring me a lovely big sister, who sadly died a few years ago, but her daughter is still in my life.
I now work with children in care and with foster carers, and while I never really planned this as a career my own experience has given me the ability to see both sides and to try and put myself in the shoes of the children and young people I work with.
These are just some of the stories from people who know what it's like to be under the care of foster system. As you can see; while there are those who have had an 'amazing experience,' there are still some who had less than pleasant experiences.
We believe that there is still a lot that needs to be changed in a foster care system, such as counseling, constant monitoring and a review of the applicants who apply for foster care license.
We, as a children's advocacy group commit to providing the children in need, a nurturing environment of friendship, peace, love and charity, and whether it is under foster care or somewhere else, it is our hope that we can change as many lives as we can.
We can do this with your help. To know more about our organization, click here. You may also donate online.
There are moments in our lives that have made such impact into the person we've become... and it is within our power to help create that moment in a child's life that will change his life for the better. Together, we can be a beacon of hope for children who are abandoned, lost and abused.