Care Day celebrates the care experiences of children and young people, their stories and their achievements.
The theme for 2022 is – “It takes a village to raise a child.”
*Chloe shares her stories with us and we find out it really does take a village.
When you first meet Chloe she comes across as a joyful, caring and a reflective young person. This is her story. Chloe was assumed into care with her siblings at age 10. Over the past 7 years Chloe has been in a number of placements and recently transitioned from her longest foster care placement of 3 years into a semi-independent living arrangement.
The consistency, dedication and commitment from her carers, respite carer, along with the support from her Caseworker have led Chloe to where she is today.
Chloe experienced a number of difficulties and trauma throughout her childhood including numerous broken attachments; 7 different foster care placements, 9 different schools and the negative impact on her mental health. There was no certainty for her future.
Now 17 Chloe, is living independently in her own flat supported by her network (her village).
Chloe articulated her support network as the reason for where she is today and is incredibly grateful that key people in her life ‘didn’t give up on her’.
For 3 years Chloe was able to received stable and continues support from her previous foster carers. Although she says her carers weren’t perfect – no one is. They provided her with the stability and love she needed through her most challenging times.
Chloe was supported to engage in her education and given choices around her future. Chloe stated; “It was great having support at school, I felt like the teachers were looking out for me, checking in and helping me catch up.”
Chloe’s ‘village of support’ also include friends and community. Chloe attends a local Church and has found a sense of ‘belonging’. “It’s a place I can go to participate in activities, but I can also talk to people who are there to listen and help with anything you’re going through.”
Chloe has a large support network. Pathfinders Caseworker Lea has been a consistent key support person for the past 5 years. Lea recalls the previous 5 years being similar to a ‘bumpy road’ but assisted her with her confidence. There were many tears encouraging Chloe to ‘hang in there’, ‘things will get better’, ‘every day is a new day’. Chloe demonstrates a high level of maturity and independence. Lea is proud of the young woman Chloe has become.
Chloe has built relationships with her foster care family, respite carers, mentoring staff, Caseworker, Psychologist, school teachers, her employer and local church members. All of which have supported and played a significant role in her care journey.
Chloe is now enjoying her own space, freedom and learning responsibilities. Chloe says, “I feel really supported by the people around me and it has given me the confidence to move into my own place. I feel like now is a good time for me to try living on my own because I have so many people around me. The mentors are great, they help me to push my boundaries.”
Currently studying a Certificate III in Community Services with a long-term goal to complete a degree in Psychology. Chloe would like to become a counsellor and wants to be “the kind of person I wish I had in my life prior to coming into care.”
Chloe is supported by her village.
*Name changed to protect privacy