Thomas and Jess

“I think the path she was set on by being in her situation in her family was very dark and wouldn’t have led anywhere nice.” Thomas

 Family fosters love

A number of young people are removed from their families due to violence, neglect and abuse. Jess* was one of these children. Jess lived in constant fear. Her parents struggled with drug abuse and couldn’t provide the most basic of necessities. Every day was marred by violence and neglect. Jess missed out on so much school that she fell behind and found it hard to make friends. At seven and a half years of age of age she was removed from her home and placed with a foster family – mum, dad, and four children. Nine years on, Jess was thriving in her loving family, but space was a problem. Jess desperately needed her own bedroom, especially as a teenager. The family considered moving but finances were an issue. They wanted to keep everyone together, including Jess, and it seemed they were running out of options. To provide more physical and emotional space for Jess to deal with her past trauma, a Kids Under Cover studio was installed in their backyard. The family agreed it was best if Thomas, their eldest son, moved in so that Jess could have her own room within the house, close to the family. Thomas describes the impact this had. ** “I don’t think I can speak for Jess herself, but I know she is a lot happier being with us than in her old family. It was a lot tougher there, She faced more problems than most adults would in a lifetime and I think that the path she was set on by being in her situation in her family was very dark and wouldn’t have led anywhere nice. The kind of house she’d be going back to I honestly wouldn’t wish it on anyone, for a child to be experiencing the things she did it was just not fair,” said Thomas. “For us it was important that she stayed in a more stable home. But the biggest problem for us was a lack of space in our house. There were lots of people talking – it was hard to hear yourself think. Little fights became bigger and you didn’t have your own space to retreat to, or even just to do homework in peace. “Me being in the studio allowed Jess to have her own room in the house, close to my parents, close to my siblings, giving her that safe environment, the secure environment she’d never had before. She could come home and know she was going to be safe.” * Name has been changed to protect privacy

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