Life for Guy hasn’t always been easy.
As a toddler, he was placed in the care system. It was hard for him without family around to offer the stability and support that he needed while he was growing up.
“I was really hurting and I couldn’t reach out for help”, says Guy, 22.
But as a teenager, he finally had a breakthrough. “Things turned around for me when I was 14 and I was living in a group home and I met my mom.”
This meeting proved to be life-changing, with his foster mom giving him the encouragement he needed to follow his dreams “She just kept letting me know, ‘I’m here for you’,” he says.
There were still some challenges to work through, but Guy now has a brighter future. The most important gift his mother gave him was the feeling of self-worth and self-confidence that was missing from his life. “She believed in me and loved me until I believed and loved myself, which was what changed everything for me.”
It’s easy to see the love that Guy feels for his foster mom and what she has given him. It shines through when he speaks about her. “From very early on, we became very close and she was my friend. I wasn’t legally adopted but she is my mom.”
He is now pursuing his passion for writing and is a slam poet performing in Vancouver. He acknowledges the debt that he owes his foster mom in giving him the chance to reach his potential.
“When someone is given the chance to make a change there is a ripple effect. All of the things that I do are because I was given a chance by that one person.”
Hear more about Guy’s story and stories from other foster caregivers from around B.C. at Fostering Connections: http://fosteringconnections.ca/
- Foster family homes are the primary placement resource for children in care in B.C.
- These homes support children and teens who are unable to live with their traditional family for reasons of abuse, neglect, emergency or tragedy.
- 61% of children in care in B.C. are Aboriginal. There is a need for more Aboriginal families willing to foster so that all children in care can maintain their cultural and community connections.
- Foster parents must be in good physical and mental health. They receive training and undergo background, criminal record and reference checks. On average, the approval process takes three months.
- Once the approval process is successfully completed, new foster parents sign an agreement outlining their responsibilities and complete the 53-hour B.C. Foster Care Education Program within two years.
- Fostering Connections: http://fosteringconnections.ca/
- B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations: www.bcfosterparents.ca/
- Indigenous Perspectives Society: http://ipsociety.ca/