What It’s Like Going Into Foster Care
Hopefully I can give you some insight about what it is like going into foster care and the sort of mindset going in. As you can imagine going into foster care I had no idea what to think or how the system worked. In the past I had heard horror stories of what happens to kids in foster care and group homes. I was even told of a close relative at the time that took on foster kids just for the money. They said she would take on the harder kids to deal with because they paid more money. She didn’t care for the kids I was told and didn’t treat them very well.
When we were take out of care I only thought we would be in foster care a short amount of time. We did have relatives that would be able to help us so I thought going into foster care was just going to be part of the process. I felt like this would be sort of an investigating stage to gather evidence to justify why we were taken from the home. I really felt uninformed about what was going to happen and just kind of went along with things. The first place that we were going was what they cal an emergency placement. This is just a temporary placement until going to more a foster home. As we were waiting at the DFS office to go stay with this new family I prepared myself mentally for what ever was about to take place. I expected the worst but hoped for the best. Between everything we had been through, going to stay with people that we didn’t know, and having no control over the situation I was really on edge.
As we were picked up and taken to our temporary home I would describe myself as hyper vigilant. I noticed we were going a little bit out in the country which did worry me a bit. My parents were well known in a smaller community and how do I know that she didn’t know them in some way. My dad’s old occupation put him in a position to meet a lot of different people. As we got settled in and met the family that we were going to be staying with I did calm down a bit. They didn’t have any older children at home so I took off some edge that I didn’t have that to deal with. I’m no the best socially so it really took the edge off in that area. I was and maybe still am a bit weary of male authority figures but I figured out that he meant on good. I didn’t want to burden them so I tried to stay out of the way. They did a good job of incorporating us into the family and they way they live. It was nice to know how things around the house were going to be a head of time. It took me a few days to let my guard down.
Going into foster care we just had the clothes on our backs. Out parents later brought in some of our clothes from the house. I remember not having a few things or not enough of some to last. I don’t know if it was on purpose that they did that or not but I didn’t expect much from them. I remember I went without a belt for awhile and had to hold up my pants or fold the waist over. I didn’t have anything to shave so my 15 year old face was patchy for awhile. Finally our new caregiver was able to take us and get us some of the things that we needed. Even then it was hard to ask or tell her. I still didn’t want to be needy.
Once we got settled in it was time to go. Another new place with new people. Another scary transition and not knowing the road ahead.