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Fostering teenagers

Dominic's story

Read about Dominic's experience of being raised in foster care from a young age.

New opportunities

I have thrived on opportunities that have become available to me through being in care, opportunities that otherwise I would never have had.

“To be a child in care can be difficult and often daunting. I have often found myself feeling as if I were a cuckoo in the nest and that I just didn’t quite fit in.

“For a long time I felt as if I would never experience the sense of belonging that ‘ordinary’ children and families so often take for granted. As a child in care it’s not unusual to find yourself looking enviously at your friends who seemingly have such straightforward family lives.”

It’s important to remember that nobody’s life is perfect

“Whilst you may feel like you don’t have the family backing you so desperately desire, you have a much larger network of people in your corner to support you in the form of the fostering and childcare team.

“Being a child in care comes with a lot of challenges that children living with their biological family would never have to experience. For instance, just recently I had to go to court to have my placement order revoked. This was both an uncomfortable situation but also an opportunity for learning. Having not seen my father for 9 years, I was unsure of how to react.

Having spent the past six years with my foster carer’s family I had settled in and considered myself to be part of this.

“This meant that I couldn’t feel any sort of affection for my biological father. This made me feel guilty because I’d thrived on opportunities that had become available to me through being in care, opportunities that otherwise I would never have had. On the other hand, being able to be involved and learn about the legal process I was participating in whilst being in court was something I would never have had the chance to do if I wasn’t in care.”

“As you can see, looking for positives has become a habit!

“Being in care can either be considered a blessing or a curse. A lot of children in care resent the fostering system for taking them away from their family. However, this should not be the case. I consider that being taken into care was the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn’t always feel this way, especially when I was too young to fully understand why I was where I was.”

I’m proud to say I’m a child in care

“My circumstances shouldn’t be a skeleton hidden away in a closet, because children in care go through so much more than anyone really understands and that is certainly not something to be quiet about. However, with the right environment and care we can flourish and be just the same as any other ‘normal’ child.

“That’s what the fostering system is there for - to give us the best shot in life that otherwise we wouldn’t have had.

“The fostering system has done more than that for me. It’s shown me what it is to be part of a family. My foster home isn’t just a foster placement. It’s my home and the people in it are my family. And I will never be able to thank social services or my foster mum enough for helping me feel this way.”

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