Meet Chelsea, a former Looked-After-Child. Chelsea grew up in foster care from a young age.
To be more precise she grew up within Futures Group foster placements, and we are proud to say she has gone on to achieve so much, not only herself but also for the looked-after-children within the company.
Chelsea has kindly agreed to provide us with a valuable insight into the world of fostering; from the perspective of a looked-after-child.
Chelsea's experiences have not only helped Futures Group to provide valuable information to those inquiring into the world of fostering but her personal experiences of foster care, within our company has also been beneficial to our very own fostering panel. Chelsea's assistance at panel has provided us with a new and unique viewpoint; presenting the company with unparalleled knowledge and expertise to ensure our children and young people's needs are taken into account at every opportunity within the fostering assessment process and onward.
Chelsea's story shines a light on the ability of all looked-after-children and how, with the right support, they can help build a better tomorrow for all looked-after-children and young people.
No problem, my name is Chelsea, and I was taken into care at the age of 7 for neglect and abuse. I was looked after by Futures Group and many carers that worked for the agency. I remained in care until the age of 18
What is the most memorable moment from your time with Futures Group?
My most positive memory would have to be some of the carers I was placed with. Looking back on my experience, I can tell the carers just wanted to make a positive impact
Do you still have contact with anyone from Futures Group?
Yes, I do. My first family, who looked after me. I lived with them for a total of six years; they were by far the best family I ever lived with. To this day I am still in contact with them and visit them up in Norfolk where she moved to.
To me, they are some of the closest family I have. Even now they always remain supportive of me and like and push me to achieve the best I can; in all areas of my life. I would say, that most of my morals and the way I present myself now is down to this beautiful family. I also remain in contact with a lovely lady call Polly, although I am not as close with her she was an excellent carer, and I would always recommend her to anyone.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of fostering?
How do you think your experience of fostering has positively shaped the person you're today?
I was lucky enough to have experienced some fantastic care. In a way, even though I was looked after by several families, I feel like have taken a little bit from everyone and feel this has and will continue to shape me as a person and a parent.
What advice would you give to a looked after a child that might be reading this interview?
I would advise them to take advantage of the care and support they will receive, and never be too scared to ask for what they want or need
Is there anything we could have done better?
Not really no. The only thing I can think of is that more emphasis should be put on empowering young people by asking a child what they want and how they would like to be looked after. I know it's hard for an organisation to do this because of the number of children looked after by yourselves. But I feel that it is always something that foster carers, social workers and child's support network should strive for.