June 1 2015

Finding hope: Bec’s Story

Leaving foster care is equally as scary as entering foster care but I was lucky because I had a carer who had given up a successful career to dedicate her life to children who otherwise would not have had the chance to grow into ambitious young adults.

The start: My care journey started when I was 14 years of age.  I had been the mother to my three beautiful young sisters since they were born as my mother wasn’t able to look after us. When we came into care my sisters and I were separated. I can recall the time, date and name of the worker but more so I can remember the sharp pain I felt in my heart when I was told to give my 12 month old sister to a stranger.

The first few weeks into my placement I became depressed, I hadn’t heard anything from my sisters and school was too much. I had never been to a primary school for longer than six months, so I was really behind with my education and no-one would help me. They seemed to expect that at 14 years of age I would know what 4 x 6 is, but I didn’t.  My carer at the time seemed disinterested that I was losing weight and becoming sick.

The change:  After running away several times I was finally moved (after 8 months).  I went to a carer; a woman that I didn’t know, but who would change my life completely.  I am asked what makes a good worker or carer? My answer is someone who can get you to talk; I remember my carer holding me for five hours until I would spill every little detail of my childhood.

Falling back:  Going to high school was tough, I fell into depression a few times, thinking I would never make anything of my life.  So my carer encouraged me to run. I became sports and school captain and completed a 12-month school exchange in Italy.  I have recently completed a Diploma of Justice Administration and have now finished my first semester in Human Services at university with credits.  I live independently from my carer now but keep in regular contact.

The future:  I love case management, interacting with people and hope to work in the Justice sector.  I still have the times where I think – ‘What am I doing and where am I going?’ but I have an amazing support network of people.  I have my health, food on the table and I’m driven to succeed at university.

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