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Ethan's story: Gratitude and giving back

20 September 2021 Stories of hope

Ethan’s journey in foster care started when he was two. He shares how it felt to be raised by people who barely knew him but still loved him as their own son.
“My carers were kind, loving, supportive. No matter what I tried to do, they’ve always been supporting me through and always just behind me.”
When asked how it was like living in foster care, he said, “For me, having foster parents is just [like] I’ve got my parents. It’s more people to talk to [and] more people to visit at Christmas.”
He continues by sharing the challenges that come with fostering children with different backgrounds and experiences.
“It’s definitely a tough job,” he sighs. “There are going to be some bad days, and there are going to be some great days. But honestly, it gives you a chance to make a real difference in someone’s life.”
Looking back, he credits the support of Wesley Dalmar and his case worker for helping him achieve his goals.
“When I moved to Wesley Dalmar, I had one case manager, and it was a great deal of consistency, knowing that I had just the one person I could talk to if I needed help,” Ethan says.
“There’s also been the Wesley Dalmar Scholarship where they’ve been helping me pay for some university expenses and tuition fees. It’s really nice to have a little less pressure off my back and every little bit of support really helps.”
At a young age, Ethan was given everything he needed, and he always felt lucky to be able to enjoy his childhood. But he realised not everyone gets a chance to grow up in a loving home.
Now a university student in his second year, Ethan is giving back to his community and developing a workshop focused on how case workers can better support foster children like himself.
Growing up in foster care, he describes the memories he treasures the most.
“One of the things I really remember looking back on my childhood is my carers took all of the foster kids on [holiday]. I remember being just thinking, ‘What a life I’ve had, thanks to foster care.'”

*Names and image have been changed to protect privacy.