In this blog, I would like to talk about my own individual experiences of being taken into foster care. Many people out in the world can write about what it is like being taken into the system, but I would want to talk about the type of events that could happen before entering the fostering system from a personal point of view.
So, for me, being placed into the fostering system, was a massive emotional journey as I was recovering from a potential overdose due to a dramatic change and deterioration in my mental health at the time. back then I had a lot of stuff going on that was struggling for me both physically and mentally, as I was struggling with who I am both with where I belonged but also with my sexuality as I was developing emotions for other people, which a lot of my friends said was normal at my age as I was going through emotional changes with my body due to growing up.
For many young people, this can be the same as data does show that ‘1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England’ along with ‘1 in 6 people experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in every given week in England’ (mind.org.uk, 2020).
During the hours before entering the fostering system, a lot of emotional activities and arguments developed for me as due to me still recovering from an overdose, what I found out was that as I was not classed as an adult at 16, the hospital classed me as a child at risk, so they needed to call social services to come out and see me along with the crisis mental health team for young people known as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team).
From this moment of knowing that they were going to come out, a lot of issues were going to erupt, as social services and my family never really got along, due to history of them working with my family on previous issues regarding my parents. I knew from the moment that they come out my mother was not going to be happy, but this is what sparked social services decision to take me into care as they deemed my mother a danger to look after me as she was being aggressive at the hospital where I was admitted at the time of my suspected overdose.
During the time of being in the hospital to when the social worker I had at the time took me to my fostering placement, I was going through a lot of major anxiety as all I was thinking was if I was going to see friends again and if I was going to stay within the same location as my college and friends, as a lot of the time for many foster children this is not the case. Being taken from the hospital to foster care, was majorly destressing for me so due to this all I wanted to do was put up a wall between myself and other people.
I can remember very clearly to this day that during the first few hours of being in foster care, the foster family I was with did everything they could to make me feel as part of the family. For many of us who go into care, a lot of the time we do not really want to stay where we are placed as it feels very alien and not safe to us because we are used to a specific normal that we are brought up in, but for me everything changed for me on that first day, as all I felt when being there was love and care, which made me feel safe and secure which all foster children need no matter what.
So for me, being taken into foster care, helped me a lot not just in the form of my mental health, but it also allowed me to feel more secure and safe for me to continue my studies, as for the first few weeks of being in care, all I wanted to do naturally was to deal with everything all on my own but I have this one foster carer who wouldn’t give up on helping me with both my academic work and my mental health as she always no matter what made sure I made It to my counselling sessions, made sure I was taking my medication and made sure that I was out the door and catching the college bus on time.
Being in care really helped me and from this blog, I hope my story and experiences can help other care experienced young people understand and see how their experiences can help them as well just like mine has with me.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger