Children in Care – Mark
Mark came into care when he was 9 years of age. This is his story and how his time in care shaped his life.
Things weren’t really great, I was living with mum and she wasn’t the most stable at that time. I was in and out of school with suspensions, constantly in trouble and not really caring because things weren’t great at home. When I went into foster care I blamed myself for being there. I was put into a different home with people that I didn’t know. I didn’t understand at the time why I was put into foster care, but over the years I realised why.
I was with my last carers for three years. I’m a very talkative person so I’m not hard to get along with. We would sit down with for hours and chat with and I could tell them anything. The ultimate goal is to be able to sit down and talk with your Foster Carers and know that they are there to help, they are there to listen and do what they can for you. I’d never be asked to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves. I was always treated like one of their own.
If it wasn’t for my last placement I wouldn’t have made it through secondary school. I would have either been kicked out or I would have dropped out. So the fact that there was people out there who were willing to put in the effort to help me get through secondary school was huge. The support, and the fact that they gave me that extra motivation, that’s a very important thing as well when it comes to foster care. People think that just because they are foster parents that they can’t give out to you or tell you that you need to work harder. My fondest memory of being in care was my graduation night, dressing up and seeing my Foster Carers so proud.
I’m in college now, studying away. I’m still very close to my last Foster Carers and I spent last Christmas with them. We speak all the time. I’m no longer doing stupid stuff and I’m living in my own house. I’m paying rent and I haven’t been kicked out so after I’ve been living there 6-7 months so overall I think I’m doing pretty damn good.
For anyone who wants to be a Foster Carer, I would say you need a caring nature. There are children everywhere that need help, that’s the biggest thing, is to give them help. Get to know the young person, see where they fall down and help them. Fostering makes a huge difference, being in foster care and getting the help I needed got me to where I am now.