Our work with children in care
Sarah was put in care when she was 10. She kept being moved around different foster parents, and she started running away. The Police referred Sarah to The Children’s Society. There she eventually built up a relationship of trust with her case worker who has really helped her move forward with her life. This is her story.
In care I was moved 15 or 16 times
I fell out with my Mum when I was 10.
I was put in care and moved around different foster families.
I didn’t know how to cope so I kept running away. I used to sleep on people’s couches who I didn’t really know.
I thought Nick loved me
Then I met someone called Nick. I loved him. I would go to his house every day.
Nick was 25. I felt weird about it but he was the only person I had in my life. He came and found me on my 15th birthday when he wasn’t supposed to.
Our relationship continued and it became an awful thing.
He was threatening, told me that if I didn’t get him drugs, he would beat me. Then he got arrested again and I had to do a video interview with the police.
I thought he loved me.
When you’re in care and you’re away from your family, it feels like everyone lets you down and nobody wants you. So when there is love on offer, you grab it. And you don’t let go of it no matter what. That’s how it was for me.
The one place that hasn't moved
I was referred to The Children’s Society by the police. A couple of friends came to The Children’s Society before me, they said it was really cool.
Then I met my project worker Zoe who said I didn’t have to get too involved, only if I wanted it. That suited me.
I didn’t want something pushed on me. I’ve spent too many times like that. So I thought, well, if I give it go and I don’t like it, then I won’t do it again. But if I did like it, it’s there if I need it.
It was strange being here at first and I wasn’t sure about it. But I kept coming and it’s been a big help. You get links and support from coming here. I’m not very good at building relationships with people, but it began to get easier.
We’ve been doing activities like tie-dying and cooking and we fit talks round them. It’s easier to talk if you’re doing something. Not as intense. It’s more like we’ll do something, we’ll get messy and we’ll talk while we’re getting messy.
I don’t really see Zoe as a worker; that she works for someone.
She’s always on the phone, asking if I’m alright.
They never give up on you; they’re always there even if you don’t want to talk. I’ve never had anyone to rely on because I was put in care and moved so many times.
This is one place that hasn’t moved and I can come here and it feels solid.
When everything was kicking off with the police, I moved in with a brilliant foster carer.
She didn’t really know me but she has stuck by me through it all. She sat in the police station with me for nine hours: for the video interview, the body mapping (where Police forensic teams record the position of injuries, marks and scars) …. everything!
They never gave up on me
Everyone used to say to me, 'Oh, you have rubbish bits in your life now, but soon it’ll get better.' At the time I thought they were talking crap, it will never get better. But it has. You have to put a lot of hard work into it. But if you’re willing, there are better things that come out the other side. So I won’t change anything.
If I knew someone in need of help, who were in a similar situation to me, I would say 'give The Children’s Society a chance; it will get so much better.'
You can just visit and see what it’s about and have a chat, but you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. It’s not like being referred.
It’s nice and down to earth. To be honest, The Children’s Society has been a champion for me really. They never gave up shouting for me. And I really needed that.