By Brittany Jane Herbold
I am a 21 year old former youth in care, currently studying psychology at the university of
Toronto. I came into care at the age of 12, I stayed with 5 families, went to 3 different schools.
At 16 moved in with my last foster home, where I met my mom and dad.
Since then I've had a family to support me and celebrate my successes; and I am all the better for it. Impermanence is something youth from the foster system understand. It is incredibly difficult to make long lasting relationships when all the relationships you know are dysfunctional. What relationships have we really formed with people other than those who are paid to have relationships with us. Interpersonal relationships are the most important assets in the real world.
So it becomes about people who shape us not because they have to, but because they want to.
Who stay in our lives and teach us valuable lessons, who we can call in the time of need, when
we feel a little bit low. If the people capable of being in positions of mentor ship never step into those roles, we are left to be our own role models, which puts us at a serious disadvantage of those who have great relationships with people around them. So what do we need as a community? People willing to give us time, energy, and love. We need people to invest time, and love into us, so that we become the people that we should be.
Not everyone is lucky, not everyone gets a forever family, and the unconditional love that comes along with it; and for those who never do, they wait and wait until it finally sinks in that it is never happening. Whatever way people are capable, Youth and kids in care need families, mentors and friends. Take time with us, interact with us. A little time, a little effort, and a little love is what we need more than anything else.