Former Kirklees foster children's stories.
Long-term fostering has helped Marcus despite a traumatic start to life. His early years were marred by neglect and physical abuse, leaving him with deep-rooted emotional and anger issues. Marcus often found himself excluded from school and his education and learning consequently suffered.
Placed into care at the age of eight and following several short-term placements, he eventually went to live with Cleckheaton foster carers, Jane and Andrew Bottomley, where he has since remained. His arrival there was to mark the beginning of a long process that would enable him to overcome his past and go on to pursue his dream of helping others.
Marcus says: “Before I was placed into care I felt extremely scared and upset at what was happening at home. I had nobody to turn to and I thought that I must have been doing something wrong. Even when I went into foster care, I found myself feeling angry and ran away on many occasions.
“By the time I went to live with Jane and Andrew, I’d been moved around several foster homes and had changed schools a few times, so had been through a real rollercoaster of emotions. But somehow with Jane and Andrew something just clicked.
“At first my old emotions remained. But for the first time I had stability in my life and didn’t face the uncertainty of being moved around. Jane and Andrew spent a lot of time listening to me, trying to understand me and what made me tick. Crucially, they believed in me.
“I was able to remain in the same school which has helped me on my chosen career path. I now assist other children in care through a Kirklees Council scheme and am about to embark on a health and social care course, which will eventually enable me to work with people who have additional needs.”
There are many children like Marcus who, having experienced a lot of upheaval, have so much to offer. All they are asking for is a chance to grow up in a permanent and loving environment and we need more people to allow these children develop into confident, fulfilled adults.