Chelsea is a foster child of our carer, Sarah. Here she talks about her experiences and how the support she continues to receive has opened up a world of opportunity for her.
I was nine when my brother Anthony and I were placed with Sarah.
While it was scary at the start because I was a young child going into a strange house, I soon started to settle and before long it became clear I was in the best place. There was a lot of positive reinforcement about this from everyone around.
From the very beginning we both received lots of support from Newcastle City Council's fostering team. For example, because we came to England from Scotland and the curriculum was different, our social workers made sure we got support with English, maths and the core subjects. Sarah also was very helpful in terms of ensuring we understood the importance of study and helping us wherever needed.
All this paid off – I’m now studying for an MA in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development at Northumbria University and I also have a part time job. I feel I can achieve anything I'd like to.
The fact I was placed in a home with my brother Anthony made a big difference to our happiness. Being young and placed in foster care is one thing but being taken away from those you love is another. I would definitely have been more hostile without him and I can’t imagine having grown up without him.
If there are no problems between siblings it would be so nice for families to take in brothers and sisters where possible.
My advice to children and young people being offered a foster placement is to stick with it, get your education and listen to what people advise because actually all they want is for you to do well. Finally, keep an open mind and concentrate on your future, not what's happened. There’s so much you can achieve.