These kids used to get the bill for their own foster care. Now that’s changing

These kids used to get the bill for their own foster care. Now that’s changing

I’ve seen what it’s done for me.
I’ve been there and lived it.
I wanted to try and take that stigma out for the child.
It is my identity.
I have nothing to be ashamed about.
I suppose I’ve had a social worker from when I was basically born,
just with issues with my mum and stuff.
I lived with my granny,
then when granny started to take sick,
so I went into care then,
full-time,
between two families.
It was difficult,
but it was good,
you know,
as well.
I came from North Lurgan,
so I was pretty much only ever around the Catholic culture.
When you’re out in foster care,
I was predominantly placed with,
you know,
Protestant families
and just growing up around kids from different cultures and towns.
Without some of the families I was with,
I probably wouldn’t have had the broad horizons.
A lot of them helped me.
I absolutely adore them.
I’ve been fostering for two-and-a-half years now
because I’ve seen what it’s done for me,
because I’ve been there and I can sit on the edge of a bed
and say,
15 years ago,
I was making maybe not the best decisions
around schooling and stuff,
and how much of a struggle it was for me to get to where I am now
by making those decisions then.
And I think they do appreciate it.
A little bit of guidance goes such a long way at such a young age.
What you can do for that child is astronomical.
I grew up with a mum and a dad and a younger brother
for reasons families broke up.
Got picked up by the system and then moved from foster home to foster home
and then I went to House Newton Abbey,
which became our long-term family home,
which allowed me to have a family normality,
you know,
able to go out and about and do things that families do.
Not so much that I would have known there was a stigma as a child,
but I didn’t like the pity or the face or the,
you know,
oh,
you’re in foster care.
I think as I matured,
and I did mature younger,
I knew that I just don’t live with my parents,
which doesn’t make me any different as a person.
So,
yeah,
when I met my husband,
I was very,
like,
if we’re having kids,
I’ll be fostering too.
We’ve had three placements so far.
These are just children who don’t live with their parents.
There’s nothing different about them.
Yes,
they’ve got more on their shoulders,
which causes more frustration,
but the beauty in that is then getting to help.
To see a child thrive in your house,
to see a child smile and hug you and say thank you,
and you’re the second best mummy,
it’s just lovely.
The more people there is that love a child,
the more they’ll thrive.
Music by Ben Thede

 

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