I was 14 years old when I came into the care of Amicus. My foster mums name was Marion and I lived with her for just under 2 years. Being in care was some of the happiest childhood memories I have. Marion was wonderful (although I did not always tell her at the time) and the team at Amicus and other foster families became my extended family.
Like many of my friends, my parents divorced when I was 7 years old. I then had to leave all my friends and everything I knew behind because my mum moved from Bristol to Somerset. As an only child this was very lonely and isolating; add your mum’s drinking on top of that and it makes for a very unhappy 4 years of my life.
On visiting a friend in Bristol my mum decided (without asking me I hasten to add) that I should go and live with my dad. This is when things took a real nosedive. My dad had a very bad temper and his behaviour towards me was not what a father / daughter relationship should look like. Desperate and depressed I developed anorexia which saw me being taken into hospital – it was at this point I was taken into care.
At first, I found being in care very restrictive – everyone around me felt old. I did not make it easy for Marion (☹ sorry) but she was patient and very kind.
My Amicus family organised lots of activities for me and the other children in care and this is where I met my lifelong friend Louise.
My social worker Julia made sure Marion and I were well supported and deep down I was glad they were there for me.
At 16 I went to live with my Gran as she was now a Kinship carer.
I am now a mum myself and when I think back to my days with Marion, I am grateful for everything she tried to do and did do for me. We are still in contact with each other and I know I can go to her if I need anything.
I look at Amicus at part of my extended family now and whilst it is hard being in care, I do not think I could have had more caring and supportive family than them.