“I was taken into foster care when I was 11 years old. In my foster placement I felt loved, included, nurtured and felt part of a family. This ended because my behaviour was so bad in school, I hated school, I went to PSS and it was horrible. This carer was going to adopt me but it did not happen because of my behaviour in school, and I was gutted.
“I then moved into a residential home, it was like a place where you stayed with friends. I preferred foster care as I felt a sense of belonging there but not in residential, there was a different staff member on every day and I found it hard to make relationships with them, they are different from foster carers, and it didn’t feel like a home or being part of a family. Some staff were nice, but I didn’t have the same respect for them as I did my foster carer, so I kicked off a lot and didn’t listen. I ruled that house and used to get everyone to come into the hallway with their mattresses and play my music on my speaker at full volume and keep staff up all night. I felt I could do anything I wanted and no one could stop me. I did feel safe staying there as I knew nothing would happen to me.
“I remember being told on Christmas day that I couldn’t see my dad because there was not even staff to transport, I totally kicked off and trashed the house. I now I ruined the staff’s and other young people’s Christmas but I was raging I was told this on Christmas Day.
“My social workers in the past have all been nice and I feel I was always involved in decisions about my care. I knew if I needed something I could phone my social worker and I would get it but I also remember a social worker telling me I wasn’t allowed certain things until I started to behave.
“There are times when I feel I want to be back in care, I just want to be part of a family and be looked after.”