Young And In Foster Care During A Pandemic

adult aged baby care
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by a BA Student

When people think of foster care, they usually have negative thoughts.
However, I believe it helped me become a better person. I basically grew up in the Miami-Dade foster care system, part of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Growing up in DCF can cause you to feel hurt and anger. I personally suffer from anger issues and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Upon entering the system, you start
to realize that the workers are not there to hurt you. They’re there to help you mature. Although there are numerous reasons why children can end up in group homes, the majority of them have either been abused by their parents, were homeless or were human-trafficked. My situation is much different. I was born in another state, and my mother and father did a lot of things that were wrong; not to me but to themselves. My mother wanted a change, and she decided to move to Miami, Florida. Unfortunately, she did not change, but only got worse. My mother suffered from being abused by my father for a very real long time, so when my mother got here from our home state, she was looking for another man to fill that void that my father had dug into her. She believed she found just that. However, she realized that this guy was much worse than my father. He abused my mother in front of my older brother and me.

My older brothers and I started to catch charges for different crimes. In my defense, I did things out of anger because I couldn’t protect my mom from this mean, angry, nasty man. Although my siblings and I caught charges, we still attended school without getting in trouble. School and sports were our outlet. After a while, going to school became a problem, because DCF used to come to school to talk to us about the abuse in my home. I always looked at any and all cops as targets to get me because not only am I a minority, but I live in poverty. But DCF didn’t only come to my school.  They came to my home, and when they came to my home, there was nothing that we could do. So, we had to leave. When I got into foster care, I initially didn’t want to be at a group home, but that was the only way I could stay with my siblings. So, they sent me to Miami Gardens and, ever since then, I’ve stayed in group homes.

Being in foster care during this coronavirus pandemic has caused complete chaos in my
household.  I’m with six other girls who have babies. I have a child of my own, and I am expecting another, so that alone is a lot. My foster parents are really taking this seriously because they are more prone to getting the virus, and with children in the house, that can make it super scary.  Although I get a lot of help, and I have a great support system, this pandemic is really making me real nervous about how my everyday life will change in the future. Being in the system doesn’t make matters better, because I have people walking in and out of my home. That means I have to worry about the virus infecting my daughter and myself.

Even so, being in foster care, I learned a lot. Especially now, because I’m almost grown. It isn’t bad. It’s just another shot at life. And it gives you hope.