27 June 2016

 The Extra Mile 

Taschan was placed with one of our foster families three years ago. His initial placement was for just over a year in preparation for independence. Three years later; although living independently he is as much a part of the family as ever.

 

What Taschan has written is really special, not only for the family it’s written about but to all of us who work to make young people’s lives better.

When talking about fostering, people often refer to “success stories”; young people who have gone on to become productive members of society and “do well for themselves”.

 

For me, every child who can truly call a foster family ‘home’ and ‘my family’ and never lose that tie with a foster parent is a success story to us all.

The blog post you are about to read is from a young man who epitomises this for me and I am really proud to have worked with him and the family he has written about.

 

My pride comes from recognising that he finally found an environment where he did not have to be perfect; he could falter and fall and he knew there were strong arms there to pick him back up. The reach of these arms has been incredible and sometimes they have had to go round corners to find him again.

 

- Louise Harding, Diverse Care Safeguarding Manager.

 

Throughout my years in care I've faced a 'diverse' mix of carers and 'techniques' within many different foster placements.

 

The transitions were scary and at a young age not a lot was explained to me. I was assumed to be okay with moving and settling into my new placement - for the benefit of my social worker and to speed up the whole process. This I felt was mis-duty of care by Haringey, my local authority at the time. My social worker 'Sharon' would pick me up in her red Fiesta full of my belongings, explaining that my previous placement would be ending and that Haringey have found a new home for me.

 

The word 'home' connotates a family environment with a loving, warm and welcoming ‘family’ whom you would be staying with, but each placement presents it’s own challenges, such as; adapting to the rules and general routine within the household, allowing yourself to be open with the people within your new 'home', all while also dealing with the realisation that you could be moved to another ‘home’ within weeks. These are all things which are hard to comprehend at such a young age, however, after being in several placements I eventually became aware that my thoughts and reservations about said placements were not important, as long as I felt a part of the family for the duration of my stay. This was a major issue for me as I never did - Until my very last one.

 

I was only there for 3 years but I class them as my family. The level of effort and love they put into getting me to where I needed to go not only helped me realise my goals and aspirations but also how to achieve them. From picking me up from across London when i’m no longer motivated and have given up hope, to bringing me comfort food through my darkest hours in independent living, my carer has continually supported me. That 'extra mile' you think may not be appreciated by your foster child may infact be the reason they decide to change their life for the better.

 

If not for the 6:30am wake up calls or the unexpected visits at work from my carer I may not have carried on with my studies in architecture. The determination she has in making sure I succeed, even when i’m unmotivated and really don't want to, shows care way more than a hug, or having a seat at dinner.

 

I've had a fair share of carers in my life since the age of 7 and had never before been in a placement where I actively wanted to succeed. I want to make my carer proud and repay all the hard work she put into getting me to where I am today. Most previous carers were not bothered about my end goal or where I wanted to get to in life.

 

The level of dedication I was shown made me turn my life around. I hope by reading this you will be inspired to help your children get to where they need to go, until they make that change and can keep going on their journey.

 

 

 

Image credit: Pixabay

 

 

written by

Taschan

 

Last modified on Monday, 27 June 2016 15:05

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