"The good things about foster care are the other foster children and the pets and the clothes you get."
"I thought they would know all about me straight away."
"I had to share a room with another lad and he was mad. We had mad conversations before we went to bed .... we were awake till all hours of the night playing on the playstation."
"For some its all right but there's others, I know some young uns whose got 6 brothers and 2 sisters share a house all the time .... its like space of my own I'm totally on my own in any case so it varies from person to person."
"The person that I have to share a bedroom with hits us."
"If you don't like the person you share with you might have fights or arguments."
"You start chucking things at them."
"There was this boy called .... he was horrible to me bullying me he was older, about 16."
"I'm scared, fed up, I don't like it there, but I don't want to move on cos I'm sick of moving. Everywhere I move, I don't know where I'm going to next. I've had 2 foster homes and one adopted home."
"You are more likely to get moved for bad behaviour than if you ask to get moved cos you don't like it."
"They (brothers and sisters) should be kept together because its family and it won't be as bad not knowing other people, you've got someone for support."
"Sometimes its good sharing with other people because like you can talk about like people if you've had a good day at school and people outside school like your mates and your friends you hang around with you can still also have your arguments with them as well sometimes it can be hard."
"I think like if foster carers did get another person in it's got to be someone the age of the one that's in who they might get on with."
"There was 2 boys, nothing to do with me, and the little one touches some of the bigger boys stuff, the big boy starts something."
"I've been in foster care for 9 years I find it easier if you've got all different people that you can trust and rely on .... if you get on with other members of the family there should be no problems really."
"Foster carers should try and make you feel as comfortable as possible, find out what your interests are."
"I've had loads of problems like when I go and talk to her she just says no I'm watching telly or something and she's never nice or anything."
"You get threatened with moving on if you don't behave."
"She's not all that bad, she listens to what I want to say she does listen to me, but sometimes she gives you a lecture, you don't want to hear what she's saying and she gives you a lecture about what she's been through and you don't want to hear that, you want her to listen to your problems and I've been through a lot."
"My biggest fear is that nobody is going to listen to you that nobody believes what you've got to say, even though you know it's true that they might not believe what you have to say and they don't put your emotions first."
"Foster placements are better when there are suitable toys for you."
"Foster carers must be kind, like children and help children to be able to play."
"The worst thing about being in care is I don't like this foster carer I'm with at the moment, he doesn't play with me, games, going to the park, there is no trust there and I did a runner."
"They should make you secure and everything."
"Cameras everywhere to protect you."
"When I was younger I used to have like, loads of teddies so when I moved in to where I am now, they had loads of teddies so like I felt just like I was at home."
"How they got us to know her was she took us out places and that and she took us to the beach."
"You should be allowed to go on activities and you should be allowed to join clubs and cos it builds up your self confidence and you mix with other young people. Since I've been in care I've had more freedom if you know what I mean."
"Activities are one of the positive things about foster carer. You get taken out places you would like to go."
"My foster carer ... he tries to get me interested in as much as possible."
"Mine's the opposite cos in ..... its git like totally boring."
"I don't really go nowhere like just school and I stay off school when I go to the doctors."
"You're not allowed to do what other 13 or 14 year olds are allowed to do."
"You're not allowed to go anywhere, you're allowed to go and see your family and that's it."
"My foster carer just tells you to go out and you have to be out all Saturday and you've got to find yourself something to do, it's not right. I think they should help you take you out with them and provide something to do."
"We just want to be able to go somewhere and have something to do because like there's nowhere to go. nothing to do."
"Your foster carer should let you choose what you want to do. If they're going out on a Saturday night, they should ask you what you're doing and if you say you've got nothing to do, they should take you with them."
"They've got to share holidays and stuff like that to make them feel more welcome."
"My foster carers kids are allowed to go to the baths and all that anytime they want and we're not because we have to be accompanied by an adult they say."
"She lets her son do anything he wants to do and if say he's hitting us and we don't like it she says 'don't play with the big boys."
"The ideal foster carer would be kind and nice to you and treat everyone equal. They would love you and treat you the same as other people they've got living with them, including their own children."
"I think we should all be treated the same and we shouldn't be treated different ... it's one rule for her son and all of the fostered kids have to do what she wants to do ... she says 'you've got to listen to my point of view, he's my son and I've got to treat him a bit different from treating yous."
"Foster carers would try harder and put up with running away and lack of gratitude if it was their own children they wouldn't give up."
"I'm 16, I have to go to bed at 10 o'clock, the same as everyone else. I don't think that's right, I should be allowed up a little longer than the rest of them."
"Hello. I am writing to tell you about a bad time I had in Foster Care. It was about 3 years ago when I was staying with a foster carer in a local town. She was really mean to me. There was one time when she grounded me for 2 weeks for not doing the dusting properly which is really unfair. She was also sexist in a big way, because she didnt give me a key even though I had been there 2 years, but to make matters worse she gave a girl who had been there 1 month a key which is definitely a sexist thing to do Im sure youll agree with me. She also had these 2 annoying grandchildren. One time one of them went and locked himself in a cupboard so when I let him out he went and told [the carer] that I had locked him in, and when I confronted her about who she believed and she said "well its definitely not you so get up to your bedroom your grounded." Why am I writing this I hear you ask. No its not cause I like whinging, its because I want problems like this in the social services sorting out because I dont want other people to end up in foster homes like that."
"Hi. I am just giving you an idea of an previous experience in foster care was when the time I got moved from my mams to a foster home with a couple. I did not enjoy living there as it was so old fashioned and they were to soft and I had to go to bed at around 8.30pm. What could have been better is if they were a little more strict then I had moved from there to another couple. They were more strict than my previous carers and I was aloud to stay up until 1200pm and watch tv at night and listen to the radio. What could have made this better if they had not split up. I lived with them for three years and three months. I moved to another town with a couple who is really good foster carers and I have got an excellent social worker who is absolutely brilliant and so helpful. She is better than [previous social worker] who was not very helpful."
And now froma teenager who's parents foster giving his views:
I am a teenager whos parents have been fostering for several years. We have had many different children living with us, from just a weekend to nearly a year. The experiences I have had with these children vary. I get on really well with most of them. Occasionally one of the children have not been very nice to me and when I was younger I did not understand why although my Mam tried to explain why. As I am an only child, having other children around while I am growing up for me is like having brothers and sisters, for although we are not related that is the nearest thing I can think of. There is always someone to talk to about teenage things or to go out and have a good time with. As when we all go out together it is much more fun when you are not the only teenager. The children whom have lived with us often tell me about what has happened to them in their lives, which is sometimes very sad and sometimes very horrible. I feel sad and angry for some of the children who have lived with us because they have had to deal with some very difficult things in their lives which does not seem fair.I like having other children around most of the time, but sometimes it is difficult sharing my Mam and Dad with other children and I get a little jealous. The other children have sometimes told me that they feel jealous of me and that I am very lucky to be able to live with my parents all the time, which makes me feel guilty for being jealous, as I know how lucky I am as it does not matter what happens my Mam and Dad will always be there for me. I wish all the children could have the same luck as me. On the odd occasion when a person has not been very nice to me, like shouting abuse and threatening me when I was out playing I have been pleased when they have moved on. Now I understand more why someone would do this to me, but it made me very unhappy. One of the most difficult things is when somebody who I have been really good friends with leaves and moves to new places. A lot of the time they get upset and I do to. What helps is when somebody who has been very close to us come back to see us for a visit, sometime our house very full. I think it would be unusual just living with my Mam and Dad and it might be boring.
Things young people suggest for a successful foster home placement:
Please don't make me share a bedroom.
Please don't call my family names.
Please don't stop my friends calling.
Please don't annoy me till I want to leave.
Please don't keep telling me what to do.
Please don't boss me around.
Please don't leave me to find my own way round.
Please give me my own bedroom.
Please respect my family.
Please listen to what I am saying.
Please help me with my schoolwork.
Please help me with my problems.
Please make it easy for me to see my parents.
Please let me go out with my friends.
Please give me enough pocket money.
Please make a fuss of me when I arrive.