Former Bexley foster child speaks out about her experience
PUBLISHED: 09:45 27 September 2011 | UPDATED: 11:53 27 September 2011
A woman who spent seven years of her life in foster care is appealing for more people to come forward to become foster carers.
Terri Elliot, 22, often resented those who cared for her, sometimes running away and not wanting anything to do with family life.
But now after three years of volunteering with young children, she wants to “put something back” and work with troubled children and eventually become a foster carer herself.
She said: “I think most foster carers do a brilliant and really worthwhile job. I look back on those years when I was being difficult and they tried really hard. But unless you know what it’s like, unless you’ve been there yourself as a child and gone through very tough times, it is hard to understand what goes through a young person’s mind.
“I think I can now help others because I can relate to their problems and their state of mind.
“I’m a much more reflective person now.
“I’ve stopped being angry at life and can now use the very positive things I’ve learned along the way - and help others.
“In the future I’d like to foster because carers do an excellent job and I think I could share my experiences and relate to those children with problems like my own. We also need lots more foster carers.
“If my story serves one purpose, I hope it is to encourage more people from different backgrounds to see if they could foster. But I also hope that it shows that fostered children can go on and do something really positive with their lives, even if they haven’t had the best start.”
Since Bexley Council launched the recruitment drive for more foster carers In January this year, 11 people were assessed and eight of these have since become foster carers.
Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Katie Perrior said: “Terri’s experience demonstrates how the dedication of foster carers does pay off, even though, at the time, you might wonder if it ever will.”
Anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer can contact the team on freephone 0800 652 8330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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