What's it like being in foster care?
Being 'in care' means that a council will find you somewhere else to live which is not with your parents. Usually when a child is placed into the care of the council they have experienced a difficult situation at home. This could be for a variety of reasons - the safety and best interests of the child is always the priority. For many children, going into the care of foster carers they don't know can be traumatic. Even though they may really like and care for their foster family they never forget the parents who gave birth to them.
Being in care is a different and very personal experience for every child. We are all unique - that's what makes us so interesting!
Britney is a young person who was fostered in Middlesbrough. She tells us about her experience of foster care. “I came from a big family and was always really close with my siblings. We were taken into care when I was in my first years at primary school and sent back, then a few years later we were split up and fostered again with the youngest being adopted together. It was hard to be apart from the little ones as I’d been so close to them when they were babies, but at least their new parents made a visit so I could see what they were like.
"Being fostered by Ian and Christine was terrifying at first. I didn’t know what to expect, but after a week or so it felt like home. I always used to joke that I wanted Chris and Ian to adopt me, but after four years, when I was faced with the prospect of having to leave them, they did. I was just so happy! I stayed with mam and dad – because that’s what they are to me - until I moved in with my boyfriend recently. All I can say to them is thank you. One of the proudest days of my life was when I changed my surname to theirs. They are my family.”
Children in care are no different to other children. If you have a child or young person in your class at school or you meet them socially remember they are just like you. Always try and be kind to everyone.