To have a different perspective about preventive measures, I felt foster care was the most appropriate placement for me because my mother and extended family were not able to give the support and needs in order to be successful as a child. It can be a very hard thing to conceive due to the negative connotations that come with foster care but for many foster care can be the saving grace.
It was very hard to get support from family members because they did not want to deal with my mother and her problems. That makes things very frustrating and have to rely on the comfort of strangers to get things I should have received from my parents. Foster care has allowed me to be able to get health check ups as well as going to mental health services because mother would not allow me to do so otherwise.
Foster care seemed to be my only hope when it came to getting my education as well. When I was having trouble in school taking tests due to stress and anxiety. I was able to get accommodations to help me do better. I would not have been able to afford college without the resources that foster care was able to give me such as the Education Training Voucher (ETV) as well as other resources to pay for schooling. Foster care also helped me in getting automatic eligibility to apply for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) in New York State.
The placements that were given to me, did not always have the best outcomes. But I did my best to make the best out of situations I was in. I was always in survival mode and felt I did not fit in but knew things were going to get better because I could make them better. We always look back on our lives to see if there was anything, that we could have prevented that could have made things in our lives better. To try and find the power we felt we lost when we could not make things better, but as we look back, I know as I look back I knew I had the power to make best of the situation I had then and should not be hard on myself about it. We should not be hard on ourselves for situations we cannot control.
Though foster care still has many bumps, it is always trying to be improved. It could not have happened without youth themselves, former foster alumni, child welfare professionals, and those who constantly support our cause in making system for those who enter and exit the system to live the best lives possible.