Care experienced Carys shares her foster care journey with us
20- year-old Carys first went into foster care when she was 11 years old and spent four years living in care. During her placements, Carys was provided a safe space to express herself and given a foundation of secuirty and love to fall back on. She built strong relationships with her foster carers, their own children and other foster children which she will cherish for the rest of her life.
Carys is hoping that her story will encourage others to consider a role as a foster carer with Foster Wales Monmouthshire, which is not only rewarding but can help build better futures for local children.
Here’s Carys’s story
My name is Carys, I first went into foster care when I was 11. I had foster placements as short as a few days and some that nearly lasted two years. I’ve been with carers of all different ages and different family arrangements.Carys
“being ‘older’ in foster care can be difficult”
In my opinion, being ‘older’ in foster care can be difficult for both the child and the foster carer/s. When I went into care at the age of 11, I already had a sense of identity, views and opinions. For example I had an understanding of my family and the circumstances that led me to come into care.
“i was made to feel fully included in their family”
I really appreciated when foster carers understood and allowed me to talk about my family and past. By showing an interest I knew they cared about me. I was made to feel fully included in their family, especially if they had other children (whether they were biological or other foster children.) Small things like being included in different activities: from food shopping, days out and even holidays abroad all meant a lot to me. It’s difficult trying to get the balance of being a part of their family whilst accepting that they have their own family. I also appreciated it when foster carers explained fostering to their children. This helped them accept me into their home, making more comfortable and easy for us to get on.
“it always helped when they empathised with me and understood how I felt”
Fostering can be difficult at times. I would be angry, upset and frustrated, which was often voiced to my foster carers. It was never anything personal to them, so it meant a lot when we could work through these difficult times. They understood that we do get upset and angry about being in care and being away from our families. It always helped when they empathised with me and understood how I felt.
Being a foster carer is more than a job. They need to be open and loving to a child, offer them a safe home and environment. Though it comes with its challenges at times, it is very rewarding. I’m still in contact with past foster carers now, they still show an interest in me and what I’m doing. I will always be grateful to those who fostered me and been a major part of my life.
Want to start your own fostering journey?
If reading Carys’s story has made you think that fostering might be right for you too, then we’d love to hear from you. Contact us and start your journey today.