I’d been working in a children’s home for a few years. I enjoyed my job because the kids at the home desperately needed help and support and I could at least go some way to giving it to them. But it was frustrating too. As a residential care worker I faced a lot of restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do. I knew that there must be a better way to give these kids a fair chance in life. Then I found out about Resilience fostering.
Resilience fostering was the ideal thing for me. I could use what I’d learnt and experienced to support a young person in my own home. The financial rewards of Resilience foster caring meant that I could give up my old job and give my full attention to supporting my young person.
Charmaine came to me when she was 12 years old. She’d been physically and mentally abused by her real dad. Because of the way she behaved, by the time she went to residential care she’d had four failed foster homes. Deep down though, she craved and needed the normality of a family life.
She has been living with me for just over a year now. I’ll be honest, there have been times when I’ve felt like pulling my hair out. I find it easier to deal with screaming and shouting, but when she closes down and doesn’t want to know me, it’s really hard. The training and support we get as Resilience foster carers has got me through some tricky times.
At the moment, we’re doing great. We have the odd moment, as I’m sure every parent does, but as we get to know and trust each other more, the little glimmers of a positive future are becoming more and more frequent. It’s not about ‘happy happy smiley smiley living happily ever after’ – just being ‘normal’ means so much to her.
I know that I’m changing her life for the better and that feels good.
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*Alison's story is based on real life events but names have been changed