Lucy Stevens - 13th January 2023
I’m B and I’m 12. When I lived with my mum, I worried about her a lot and I started to get really scared about leaving her. I would miss school so I could always be there just in case. Things got pretty bad and my mum just stayed in bed all day and drank quite a bit at night. She would get really angry and cry a lot and one day she ended up taking a load of pills and saying she wanted to die. I had to look after her and my little sister. It felt good to be needed but I was also really angry. Like I was either feeling sick from worrying or sick from being mad. Maybe I’m sick like my mum.
We went to live with my Aunty and the Social worker said I had to go back to school. The whole class seemed to find the work easy but to me it was really hard. I literally didn’t understand anything. It made me feel stupid and like it just wasn’t worth bothering. I would sit in class and go red and just kick my chair around or run out or shout out. Anything just to stop feeling so dumb. The school kicked me out in the end and my Aunty went mad. She told my social worker that she couldn’t cope with “my challenging behaviour” any more. She kept my sister though.
I went back to Mum’s for a bit but that got really bad. We would just shout and scream at each other and sometimes she would hit me and I would hit her back. The social worker said the “relationship had broken down” and Mum told her to put me into care.
The worst thing about going into foster care was that I couldn’t just see my sister any time. I was like her mum and did a good job with her. I didn’t want anyone to look after me, I just wanted my sister. I had some nice carers but I was so mad at them. I just got angrier and angrier. I knew if I played up enough they would kick me out too and then I could be with my sister.
After 3 foster families, my social worker told me they were looking for carers who could take me and my sister but that I had to be patient as it would take a long time. I asked why and she said that there are not many foster carers especially who could take us both. I went to live with new carers and they were really nice. They showed me what to do when I felt angry and they helped me to calm down. After a few months one of the other kids left and my sister came to live with us. I was so happy. But everything was different. She didn’t want me to cook for her or play with her anymore and the foster carers stopped me doing anything for her. I started to get really angry again and hated them for getting in the way of everything. They told me that I needed to have a childhood and trust them to look after my sister. That was hard. Really hard. Once I heard them all talking about splitting us up again and that really freaked me out.
I still find it hard to trust them and to let them do everything and sometimes I shout at them and shout at my sister. Sometimes I tell my sister what to say and do. It helps me feel needed again. Useful.
We see our mum once a week in a contact centre. My sister loves seeing her. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Mum says things about our foster carers and tells me to make stuff up about them so we can come back to her. It makes me hate my carers a bit when I come home. But mostly it makes me mad again cos I know mum doesn’t want us back really.
School is going a bit better and my carers help me with homework and have arranged a tutor to help me catch up. It’s so boring but my carers say I’m smart and could do really well so I’ll give it a go.
I don’t say this much but life is better here. Sometimes it all gets too much and I just want to be with mum but other times I see my sister and she is clean and happy and so it’s all good. I’m glad our carers can look after us both and I hope more people will foster especially if they have room for sisters like us to be together.
We’re seeing an increase in demand for fostering families for siblings like B and her sister.If you feel you could offer a nurturing home to sibling groups, please do get in touch with us at www.easternfosteringservices.com, facebook or email us at email@example.com. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.