Reflections from a care leaver
I left my foster home when I was 18, and like many, I found it almost impossible to budget my dole money. Looking back, it was far too much to do, coming from a difficult background and I made so many mistakes. I often went hungry because I’d mismanaged my money and I wish there had been someone to advise me. I struggled through those first years and I did learn how to do ‘the grown up things’. Now, despite my rocky start, I pass as ‘normal’ and people are surprised if they find out my background. What we have to do is more than what most young people are expected to do and in my experience, people often don’t cut you any slack for that. As a care leaver and survivor, I wish others the best and hope they stay strong, take all the help that’s going and one day, achieve ‘normal’. And be proud of themselves for doing so against the odds.