To My Advocate, I Mattered

Before joining a peer support group, I would walk into the foster care agency ready to raise hell. I was having real concerns about my case. I didn’t feel that I was getting the information I needed. I was struggling and had no one to talk to. I wore my anger on my face and didn’t think twice about lashing out. Throughout my life, I have been used and let down and I learned not to trust people. I burned bridges and kept everyone away. At the agency, no one saw what I was going through, they only saw my attitude. The only person I could turn to was my parent advocate, Teresa. Unlike every other person I encountered in the system and in my life, I knew that to Teresa, I mattered. Teresa spoke to me in a calm and passionate manner. She understood how difficult it was to be a mom under child welfare’s watch and reassured me that everything was going to be ok. She referred me to the right services. She even got me into a crocheting class that help me control my temperament. Teresa also referred me to the parent support group that she ran. Being around other parents whose children were in care, I found community. I also learned skills. They encouraged me to take deep breaths. They kept it real about what I needed to change. I had to learn that I couldn’t always get what I wanted, when I wanted it. Things take time. The support I received from that group and from Teresa helped me get through the really hard days. From Rise’s TIPS on Service Planning:
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