Tom picture“I’m Tom and I’m 12. I went into foster care as soon as I was born as my older brothers were already in foster care. Our birth Mum wasn’t able to keep us safe because she was living with a man who would have hurt us.  I’ll call my birth Mum ‘Denise’ because ‘Mum’ is the person I live with now. Denise was really young when she had me, and she’d had a hard time growing up. She didn’t know how to care for us.

I lived with my foster carer until I was five months old then I went back to live with Denise for a bit, to see if she could cope. But she couldn’t. So I came back to live with my foster carers and I was lucky because they wanted to adopt me. So I didn’t have to move too many times, like other children who’ve been in foster care have. I still feel scared that my parents will suddenly leave me though so I don’t like to be far away from them.

My brain is a bit different to most people’s – probably because Denise drank alcohol and was really stressed when I was growing inside her tummy. I have autism and dyslexia and dyspraxia which made school really hard. I didn’t feel safe there and children bullied me for being different. I used to come home and trash the house and hit my parents. I didn’t want to but I was always in such a state after a day at school. So I’m home schooled now and that is much better for me.

We have had some family therapy for the last few years to help us all feel more safe with each other, and I don’t hit out anymore.  We have lots of really fun times as a family and I’m gradually finding friends online who have the same interests as me – like Minecraft and computers.

My parents will always be the ones I grew up with but I hope that one day I will be able to meet Denise again.  I know she has had two other children now who’ve stayed with her. It’s great that she has learnt to become a good Mum now but sad that it took so long.

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