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What I Learned From My Experience In The Foster Care System

The foster care system has a lot of if and buts. It doesn’t always work for everyone. So whereas one might find a home, another kid might never be placed with the right one. In my case, if I had never gone back with my mom, I might’ve stayed in the system years longer than I actually did. Foster Care isn’t an exact science. Social workers don’t work you into an equation the finds your forever family. In a system like that, it’s trial and error. You go to one and if it’s not a good fit, you go to the next. As sad as that may sound, it’s the reality of the situation. Not all find what they’re looking for, at any age they may be there. So, with that in mind, the following are my experiences and what it’s really like to be in the Foster Care System.

I was never a well-behaved child. As soon as I landed in the system, everything turned. I developed really bad anger issues and resentment towards any adult figure who wasn’t my mom. Luckily, I wasn’t alone. My sister and I never left each other’s side; my mom made sure we were kept together. So even though I was without a mother, I had visitations with her and my sister as my constant. The first homes I had — they were mostly not good. I remember one home in particular where this woman abused me and my sister. Because I was so young, I don’t remember everything, but I remember this. One time at night, I got up to use the restroom and I accidentally woke up her dog. He went ballistic and she got mad at me because he woke her up. She was abusive because her 3-year-old foster child had to use the restroom — something as simple as that would set her off. It was not a good time, but my mom noticed the changes in me and my sister whenever we had visitations, and she petitioned the court and got us out.

The very last home I was ever in, was the best home. In fact, that family and my family still talk today, as well as we see them often. This family wanted to help children in need, so they started fostering. I’m not sure whether or not they were doing it because they wanted to adopt, but in the end, I think that was their goal with us. However, my mom finally got us back, which was definitely for the better. But for the 2-3 years, my sister and I spent with them, I am forever grateful. Even though I was a hell child, they realized that I had been through some not good things, and they loved me anyhow. They took us to counseling because they realised that the years in foster care took a toll on our relationship. With that, I was able to develop skills I still use today, and without it, I probably would be more problematic than I actually turned out to be.

So as you can see, good things and bad things can happen. Temporary homes and expected, and there isn’t too much we can do about it. Again, none of this is an exact science, and you can’t just keep changing the formula until you’ve got it right, you’ve got to roll with the punches. And honestly, how this feels all differs with age. Because I was so young, only the impressionable things got to me. But, if I were any older (like the age I am now), then more things would have stuck and the process would’ve been more emotional, and frankly traumatizing.

So really all you should know is that CPS (Child Protective Services) doesn’t always do the right thing, but doesn’t always do the worst thing either. Just like most associations, it’s only with trial and error. The more experience, the better they get to know the child and where they best fit. I best fit with my birth mother, but not all others are meant with theirs — that in itself is a difficult thing to come to conclusion to.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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Victorya Strong
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Hello:) I'm Victorya, and I'm a writer from Arizona. I hope you like the things I write, and Affinity Magazine as a whole:)

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