As a former care experienced person and now a care leaver who has gone through the system and about to become independent from my local authority, I wanted to talk to you about how a care experienced person can or does feel when being in the fostering system.
From my experience of being in the care system, there has always been a negative response and treatments from peers when it comes to them finding out that people were or even are in the fostering system. I can remember very clearly before I got placed into the system, there was this one person in my class who was in foster care from an early age, and he got massively bullied as a lot of the time it is known that people in care do not have the same support network and protection as people who are out of the system.
For instance, for someone who was out of the system, if they got bullied or hurt, they can talk to their parents or their parents would do something to put support in place for the child, but for care experienced people this is not always the case and sometimes does not happen.
In my opinion, I feel that this sort of treatment among care experienced people from their peers is wrong, as I feel that even though these people have been in the system and have care experience, I believe and still feel that this does not change or even make us any different than our peers, but we still get this sort of treatment from our classmates and even friendship groups that we are part off.
Being in the fostering system and being care experienced in my opinion and from my own personal experience is hard enough at the best of times but having this treatment from friends and classmates can make the whole experience a lot of difficult and terrifying as it can make us feel very lost and alone which is exactly what happened to me.
When I was in the system, all I felt for the first couple of months was the fear of dread and being lost as I did not have anyone, I knew around me. Even though I was in the same town as before, there was something about it that made me feel extremely lost and extremely alone, which from experience of talking to friends who have also been in the system, they can also feel the same.
Being placed into the fostering system at any age can be extremely heart breaking and full of a lot of anxiety for the person, as from my own experience all I felt was anxiety and loss when I got placed into the system, but after a while of being there I started feeling better as all around me to begin with, I felt that my foster carers were only looking after me because they were getting paid to do so and that they did not have the passion to look after a childlike me, but slowly through the years of living with them, I was able to see that they all had one thing in common and that was to provide a stable and happy foster placement so I was able to grow into the adult that I was going to be.
So, if I were to look back at my time in foster care now (five years on) and think about how I felt while going through the system, I would say that there was a massive and dramatically substantial number of emotions that went on during my time in care, as I was still recovering from my mental health diagnoses, but also the fact that for the first few months of living there It felt like everyone was out to get me, but looking back now I can see that all they wanted was to make sure that I was looked after and that I was safe and not at harm from people and myself.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger.