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‘Fostering means I have been able to change my life’ – a fostering story

With so much negative stuff written about the issues facing care leavers, we thought we’d share a great story.

Five Rivers offers care leavers a unique work experience opportunity – to be involved in our selection panels for foster carers and fostering support workers. One of our recent care leavers, Jude, has taken full advantage of these opportunities, and has written this piece in which he also pays tribute to the role played by Jessie, his foster mother:

“When I first lived with Jessie, I was a confused young boy and my fondest memory on that day was Jessie’s calm voice which made me feel so very much at ease. I felt very settled Jessie for the longest period and for the first time in a very long period. I consider Jessie to be my mother and feel strongly that I will always able to rely on Jessie but she has also helped me maintain really good contact with my birth family. I regard Jessie as being part of my family.

I was not an easy person to look after and Jessie has put a lot of hard work in supporting me to be the young man I have become today. I remember that she had to have a lot of meetings in school to get the correct support for my GCSE’s. Jessie negotiated for extra time to complete my exams which helped me achieve the grades I needed.

At present, I am living at a shared accommodation near Jessie’s house. I still visit Jessie three times a week and who has kept my bedroom for me should I need it. She was very helpful in teaching me all the skills that I needed before I moved out. I now work full-time at the Perfume Shop and I have applied for funding from the Prince’s Trust to start my own business.

In February, I joined the London & East Five Rivers Foster Panel which I really enjoy. I get to meet existing foster carers and those who want to be foster carers. I have also been involved in helping to recruit Fostering Support Workers.”

Fostering means I have been able to change my life.

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