Sunday, November 21, 2010

How hard is it?

How hard do you think it would be to be a child in care? I've been asking myself this recently. I've seen so many different types come through our doors since we started caring. Some seem happy enough to just go with the flow, from home to home, others cry and are upset and others are very angry and want their mum. We've had to call the police on one occasion and had a 7 year old try to run away down the main road and just about got hit by a car. We've had distraught kids, well behaved kids and happy kids.

But they all share a common theme . . . an underlying sadness and confusion as to who is their mum and dad and when or if they will be going 'home' wherever that may be. Sure the kids can be distracted with a new school, new bedroom and of course our cats, dogs and chickens keep them entertained. But really it's just a distraction.

What is going on inside their minds? All of a sudden they have a new 'aunty and uncle' as well as everything else they have to cope with. They are expected to just trust perfect strangers with their well being and safety, and for the most part they do.

Personally, I don't think I would have coped as a child in these circumstances, but I was never abused or needed to be removed from my parents care. I could read, write and spell and did well at school (even though I didn't like it) I never swore at a teacher, threw a chair or hit a teacher or another student. I never threatened to kill anyone or hate myself enough to want to end my own life.

Yet for thousands of kids and teens all over Australia these thoughts, feelings and actions are taking place.

Without an army of dedicated 'strangers' to care for them and attempt to show them a 'normal' life who knows what would happen to these youngsters? Our future.

I've seen kids come into our home with not only one of our projects backpacks, but with other care packages as well and I know they've been in and out of care several times in one year.

When I pack the teddies in the bags I always say a special little something to them. I hope the message gets through.
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