Charlotte explains the difference that her Foster Carers made…
I had moved a few times before properly settling into a stable placement, which was at Alison’s home with her and her family. At first, I was nervous because I hated moving around and having to try and get used to my new home and the new families in a short space of time. When I first stayed with Alison, it was only supposed to be a Short Term Respite placement, but the stay grew longer and longer until eventually Alison went to panel to become a full-time foster carer for me and one other lad to permanently stay until we turned 18.
To be frankly honest, I had mixed emotions as I quiet enjoyed my last placement before that but at the same time, I was happy that I wouldn’t have to keep moving around. I fitted in very well with her and her sons to the point where it felt like they thought of me as a little sister and one of the family.
I lived with Alison and her family for 5 years 4 of which were the happiest years. The last year, I fell apart and the bond between me and the family wasn’t as great anymore. Probably because I was transitioning into a young adult and wanting to do more things my own way, so there were some disagreements during that time. A prime example, I would go ‘out out’ and not return home until the early hours the next day and I’d still be intoxicated. It was that bad to the point where I had these weird mood swings that I didn’t understand, so I started misbehaving. I hated that things went sour but since I had moved out recently in November 2018, I have been in contact with them and we have been building the relationship back up and it’s all amazing.
Alison has been my biggest support and we got on really well as I was the only girl in the house, I think it was nice company for her as we went out and did ‘girly’ things together. Once I turned 18, my placement became a Staying Put, which made me feel at ease knowing that I’m remaining somewhere where I’m comfortable for another year. It just gave me a sense of stability in my life, which every young person would ever want. I later decided to fly the nest and move in with my boyfriend, I had so much support from the care team. Words cannot describe that this was the most special and loving thing that has happened during my time in care. It made a difference to me because the sense of feeling unwanted and loneliness impact greatly on mental health and for someone to make you feel secure and worthy of life makes you think good things do happen.
Coming into care has taught me that tough times never last but tough people do, so you’ve just got to keep going and it will all get better. It won’t be easy but with the support from foster carers, social worker, it will make it seem like a walk in the park! I have gone from a vulnerable teenager to an independent young adult living my best life.
I am hugely grateful for everyone in the care team supporting children and young adults like me and seeing a better future for us. I appreciate the effort and time they all contribute into making sure my safety & wellbeing is the priority. I am able to experience life to the fullest and you have opened all these amazing opportunities for me to experience that not every young person can while developing into adulthood. I have met some lovely people in my journey, and I hope they continue their good work and support.
If Charlotte's story has inspired you, and you think you could welcome a child into your home we'd love to hear from you. Join us at one of our Fostering Information Sessions. Or if you would like further information, please fill in our Online Enquiry Form, call the Fostering Team on 01454 866423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Names have been changed to protect identities