At 14 years of age, Sam had already been placed in different foster homes a staggering 56 times. Sam grew up in a destructive household where his parents suffered from mental health issues, and were involved in criminal activity and substance abuse. Sam presented with defiant and aggressive behaviour, was prone to bullying and had been diagnosed with ADHD.
Upon arrival at John’s house, Sam was meticulous and pedantic with his belongings and his school attendance was poor. John faced many challenging moments in the time that he cared for Sam, learning the hard way how to care for someone who had experienced significant trauma.
Three years on, *Sam’s placement with *John is secure and stable. A strong bond between the two is clearly evident as Sam enjoys his time spent with John. Sam’s school attendance is now consistent, and has recently been offered a one day per week apprenticeship as an electrician through the Vcal program at his school. Sam is likely to continue living with John after his 18th birthday, and assist him in caring for future foster children.
The work of Teenage Foster Care Australia sees young people enter care broken through trauma and abuse, but witnesses the transformation that a healthy home environment can bring.
*Names in this story have been changed for privacy.