To hear such positivity from one of care leavers is a very special and important thing for the Chrysalis Care team and this message alone, shows us that we are lucky to work alongside some of the best foster carers, which is why we are incredibly proud of the work they do.
We asked one of our care leavers what advice he would give to a child or young person meeting their new foster family, as well as his advice to foster carers meeting a child or young person coming into their care. It is also important to listen to the child or young person going into care, so we can ensure we are doing our very best to provide what they need and continue to make a real difference. This is what he told us:
Amongst confusion and feeling apprehensive about the changes that were happening in my life, when meeting my new foster family, I was immediately made to feel welcome.
I would tell any child or young person going into a foster family, to try to be open-minded and understanding about the new situation, for them and for the foster carer.
The advice I would give a foster carer when meeting a new foster child, would be to understand that it can be an overwhelming experience to a child or young person coming into your home. So, just try to be yourself and let things settle at their own pace.
In general, speaking from my own experience, I would say for the child to try to be understanding and put things in perspective, as well as try to integrate with your new family, as for me, this paid great dividends towards my future.
Considering I was twice kicked out of school, problems with the police and my general behaviour and attitude, I am incredibly proud of the way my life has turned around. After spending 10 years with my foster family, I went to college and then graduated from university with a BA (Hons) degree, whilst also being an Ambassador for Chrysalis Care and becoming a backup carer myself. I am now employed at the largest Energy and insurance broker in the UK!
I appreciate that I was placed with Chrysalis Care’s number one foster carers R and S (?), who gave me a great childhood, which was needed in order to grow up and succeed. To go on a Mediterranean cruise – me a boy from Thamesmead – felt surreal. In fact, I’ve lost count of the countries I have been to and the holidays I have been on. They always encouraged me to achieve and succeed and for this I will always be forever grateful. To live with their own two children A and J and quite a few new foster children, has been a real learning curve that has enhanced my life.
Now looking forward with anticipation, moving to my new home, I know that I will always keep in touch with my foster family.