But as the weeks went by, those strangers became my friends and family. I learned how to cook, clean, iron clothes, stick to rules, work as a team, and deal with the things life throws at you as a grown-up. After just a few months of training it was amazing that all the young people that I had entered with were leaving like adults, well prepared for their future.
One of my first roles was as a driver for the medics, so I quickly got used to having to think on my feet and react carefully in dangerous situations. All that training had now become part of my DNA.
Whenever new foster children enter our home it always takes me back to how I felt during those early days in the army. I can empathise with their fears, homesickness, doubts about ever seeing their family again, learning to trust strangers, even some of the trauma they may have witnessed, be it through neglect, emotional, or physical abuse.
Along with Myself, my partner, and my step-son, we have now fostered over a dozen young people, boys, girls, mothers & babies, toddlers, teenagers. My phone is full of numbers for social workers, reviewing officers, schools, colleges, counsellors, doctors, psychologists, and every other service you can imagine.