We, as foster carers, have offered Seven years of absolute nurture to Alan ( Names changed ) , in a placement alongside his brother and sisters, with supportive school friends have resulted in an amazing young man who is steadily overcoming the trauma of his early life.
Few young people are “ the finished article “ at 20 / 21, rarely do care leavers achieve what he has. As his carers, we are immensely proud of him and his achievements to date. He deserves the support of “family” even as he starts his 3rd year at University.
We will continue to provide security and enable him to continue to thrive – not just to survive.. Without our support , we know that Alan ( or indeed any young person ) could rapidly hit a downward trajectory. It could so easily have happened already , if at the start of the pandemic lockdown in March, we had not jumped into the car and brought him back from his University Halls with just hours of notice.
Preparing for him to leave, in the uncertainty of the current pandemic, Alan needed reassurance that he can return and does not have to stay alone in his shared accommodation.
The local authority have refused even minimal further financial investment for Alan going forward and so our commitment to support him as his forever family is now brought into play . The successful ending to his leaving care is dependent on our goodwill – the system expects us going forward to support Alan. We are very fortunate to be of an age where we have accessed pensions to pay off our mortgage – otherwise we would be financially overstretched.
Alan is the eldest of the 4 children who came to live with us. Very soon after they came to share our home we needed to have quite a frank discussion with him and explain that we were here to keep him safe and to take away the pressure of needing to be “in charge “.
In reality the family home had been chaotic and he had taken on the role of the man of the house for a period of two years – having fled Domestic Violence at the hands of his father. Sadly the only role model that he had was not one that we could condone within our home.
We carefully explained that this was his opportunity, at 13 years old, to have some carefree childhood. In the early days, he sometimes spoke in a tone and manner to his siblings that would chill me to the core, because it was clearly a manner that they had previously been subjected to, However he caught on really quickly and to his credit , a gentle reminder was all that was needed to get the relationships back on track.
Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.