How did Nexus support you as a young person? (Did they offer any activities, any support they gave directly to you rather than your carers.)
I couldn’t have felt more supported by Nexus as a foster child. The support they gave my carers was phenomenal, 24/7 someone was available in case of an emergency, but as a child they were always there for me too, 24/7.
Some foster children (probably most) don’t get on with their own social workers but I felt like I could get on with all the Nexus support workers, they felt like my second parents! The support was fantastic.
My Foster Carers support worker took me out for a coffee, to the park, for McDonald’s or out for cake. It was lovely, because whatever I couldn’t tell my Foster Carers I felt like I could tell their support worker. Although they work extremely closely to the foster carers, Nexus also work closely with the foster children, they reassured me when I felt uncomfortable about things.
I also used to love the fact we had group days out. All Foster Carers from Nexus would get together with their foster children and we would go to Thetford Forest, Pleasurewood Hills, Africa Alive.
I found this really lovely as I also got to speak to other foster children who are in care about some of the things they had been through. I felt like I wasn’t alone AT LAST!
What are you doing now and how do you think your time with your Nexus carers influenced that?
After falling pregnant back in 2016 I then had a little boy who will be 2 in July. I qualified as a security Officer in 2017 and worked at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital doing full time security.
In March 2018 I got married! Although none of my birth family were present, it was the best decision I’d made to leave all my birth family behind (I haven’t spoken to my birth family for 6 years!)
In May 2018, I am currently taking a new career path, and have started a full-time job as a carer in a care home for people who have suffered brain injuries; I also do casual security work at weekends as does my husband when it fits with our family.
Working full time is hard considering I have my 22-month-old son, as well as my husband working full time too. I want my son to know life isn’t easy and you have to work for what you want, I also want him to learn that mummy and daddy have to work to keep a roof over our heads.
It’s an amazing feeling knowing all the treats, toys and special days out we have, have come from mummy’s and daddy’s hard well-earned money.
Is there any other message or advice you would like to give to potential or new foster carers as a care leaver?
Foster children – please give your carers a chance. They have your best interests at heart, although it may not seem it at the current time of you being in care, you’ll forever be thanking them when you’re out of the care system.
When you can sit back and realise how much they tried to fit you into a “normal family environment”. My carers made me who I am today, the younger years were the most important, I didn’t realise it back then, but I do now. I’m a new soul. I’ve learnt to love as well as been loved, I’ve learnt there’s all sorts of paths you can chose in your life, but you’re the one that can choose it!
Remember, life is about learning the dance in the rain not waiting for the storm to pass!
Foster carers – It’s hard to bring children into your home because not only are you taking on the child/ren but your also taking on their families. I know it can be hard, frustrating, but please keep at it. You will make a tremendous different to a child/rens life. Although they might not thank you at the time, they will later!
My Foster Carers made a huge difference to my life, I’m sure you will do the same!
Just remember, the support is there, don’t be afraid to use it.
If you have always wanted to be a foster carer, Nexus Fostering could be the agency to support you in your dream. Why not find your local team, or call us on 0800 389 0143.