Most people would say going into foster care was a bad thing and they had a bad experience, but for me I had a good experience.
At first going into foster care was hard for me and my two sisters, we were placed with a foster family miles away from where we lived before with mum and dad. I still remember that day, it was a Wednesday and it was raining really heavily. We got soaked getting into the car to leave.
Besides all the heartbreak and the hard times things actually started to make sense and fall into place. I have gained so much confidence and experience from such a negative start in my teenage years. I’ve made so many friends since foster care and still have a good friendship with them although I don’t live near any of them. When I moved to my first foster placement there was a few kids around my area my age who I built friendships with and still to this day I still have a good friendship with them although they live miles away from me. I made new friends by going to dances up in the local hall and through my carers, as she knew one of the kids parents so we had invited her over for a movie night and we got to know each other through that. It was nice to make new friends.
Staying at the same school for me was a big thing as I was at high school and I had already made a lot of friends there and was settled. Before I went into foster care I would’ve just left school when I had the chance to. School was the best part of the day because I enjoyed going and also seeing all my friends. There was one friend who I met during 3rd year of school, we built a really good friendship and it was good to have a friend that understood me as she was also in foster care. It was funny meeting her, we didn’t know each other and one day I just invited her to sit next to me in English and it went from there. Although I have left school she is still a big part of my life and is still my best friend. Having a good group of friends got me through the hard times of foster care and turned them into a positive experience.
I have recently passed my driving test and have my own car. It was an exciting time for me as three of my friends had already passed and for me to get it done and pass was great. It meant my group of friends could all go out at the same time. It means I have my own independence and do my own thing and not have to rely on lifts to take me here and there.
Since being in foster care and for the past two years I have volunteered for the Fostering Network as a Young Champion with other foster care children and children of the parents who are carers. Being a part of the group is great because before I joined I didn’t know many kids that were in foster care, so to have a group of people who can understand and to just have them there just to talk to is wonderful. Being a part of the Fostering Network gives not only myself but the other Champions great experiences. We’ve done a lot of work around foster care and how it’s not such a bad thing and there are good moments to it. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Young Champions. If I wasn’t in foster care I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing people I have and made great memories to cherish. It has given me great experiences and great memories.
Where I am right now has all came from confidence and great support from everyone around me. I’m 18 years old and have stayed put with my foster family and intend to do so for the near future. I am a Modern Apprentice with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA). I am enjoying working where I am, I’m learning new things every day.
I still see my real family and I enjoy seeing them. I am happy they are still in my life. Life is good.