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“I never want to leave my foster carers, I can’t put into words just how amazing they are”

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One of our young people, Abbey*, kindly shares her experiences in foster care. She describes how she came into care at the age of nine years feeling scared with no self-belief and is now a confident sixteen-year-old looking forward to her future.

Abbey* recalls when she and her 2 older siblings were removed from their home and taken to her first foster home. “We woke up one day and we were told to pack the essentials. It was quite a shock; we were taken to a completely different area, and we had no idea at the time what was happening, it was quite daunting. I remember arriving at our foster carers quite late, me and my sister were sharing a room, and we just went to bed".

The following morning, Abbey* describes what she remembers; 

“We woke up and we all wrote down what sort of foods we liked and didn’t like and were encouraged to try new things. We had come from a house with no boundaries, so we had to adjust. We went out shopping and bought food we liked and once we got to know everyone it was easier".

Abbey* settled into her foster family quickly but remained at her school so had a long drive to and from school “Once I settled in, it didn't bother me as much because I knew I had people there that were going to look after me better. Our carers had birth children living with them and we got on well, it was good to have another person to talk to who was a similar age. My first foster family were so lovely and I’m still in contact with them now actually".

Abbey* lived with her first foster family for 2 years. During this time her older sister and brother moved on. “It was weird being separated at first, but I think it was for the best, I get on with my sister well now".

After living with a total of 3 foster families, Abbey* says she has been lucky to have got on well with all of them. 

“I think the hardest part is adjusting to a new set of rules and boundaries, but you just learn to adjust quite quickly, when you're younger you don’t know anything different".

Abbey* has settled in amazingly with foster carers Gina and Michael. “I am close with them; I think in life you click with certain people. You get nervous moving into a new foster home but when I look back coming into care was probably one of the best things to happen to me".

Abbey * doesn’t have a relationship with her birth parents now and explains how her current foster carers, Gina and Michael, have supported her. “I couldn't repay them for how they have helped me. I used to sit in my room and get in a real state every night, but they did everything they could to help me get better. Gina taught me to believe in myself and told me I could do anything I put my mind to. I hated school and they encouraged me all the time to do my best and I managed to get 2 GCSEs in the end". Emma* plans to stay with Gina and Michael and explains “I never want to leave them, I can’t put into words just how amazing they are. They have helped me grow up and mature, they are just like a mum and dad to me".

A holiday is one of Abbey’s* special memories. 

“We went on holiday last year in July and that was one of the best times I’ve ever had. Just spending quality time together and just making memories together as a family”.

Abbey* started college in September studying Level 2 Animal Management “I’m not the most academic person and I didn’t like school, but I love college and we have three hours of practical’s a week which helps”. Abbey* explained animals have helped her throughout her time in foster care. “I find animals quite therapeutic; my carers Gina and Michael have dogs and I’ve always sat and spoke to them. The Clinician at Nexus advised I do Equine Therapy instead of CAHMS and it helped me".

Abbey* describes Nexus Fostering as “absolutely amazing” and has a great relationship with Laura from the North Midlands Team. “Laura was the one who first drove me to Gina and Michaels's house, she was amazing and looked after me".

With more children and young people coming into care each year, Abbey’s* advice to other young people struggling to settle into their new foster home would be, “Moving can be difficult but try your hardest to adapt and not to stress about it because the more that you stress, the more you overthink, the worse you feel. And honestly, as soon as you settle into your new placement, it will be amazing because the family will look after you. You will get all the support around you that you need to do well. My advice would be to keep believing in yourself and keep working hard. Find something to take your mind off the situation, I used to put music on and do art when I was struggling to cope".

“I'm so proud that I grew up and realised that talking to your foster carers is the best way, no matter how big or small. I realised they are trying their best to help me and can get the help I needed when I spoke about how I was feeling. I am proud that I can do well at college, I didn’t put in any effort at school and learnt the hard way because now I regret that."

Abbey* found comfort in speaking to other young people in care in school and college. “I’ve realised some friends you grow apart from when you grow up. Some of my friends are either in the care system or just leaving and it’s easier to talk and relate with them when you know they have been in the same situation as you, they understand exactly how it feels".

Abbey* has a bright future and clear plan. “I have another two years to do at college and then I’m thinking of going to university to study Zoology and then I would love to go to South Africa and work on a Safari. I don’t want what has happened to me to be a negative thing anymore, it's in the past and I want to look forward to the future". Abbey* talks about maybe having her own family one day in the future; 

“I think my experiences in care will hopefully help me when I have children. I could hopefully give them a much better start to life compared to what I’ve had, and hopefully learn from everything that I have been through and use it to inspire and teach them to believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it". 


Fostering stories


  • Advice
  • Young person
  • Long-term fostering

Date published

10 May 2024

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