Childcare business owner and foster carer, a positive role model for ‘Proud to be me’ campaign
Sian talks to us about her journey through the care system, and how that inspired her to become a successful childcare provider and foster carer.
Sian, who experienced the care system when she was a child, has spoken about her journey, and tells us how her experience helped her build a successful business, as part of the ‘Proud to be me’ campaign.
Proud to be me is an initiative led by Voices from Care, which kicked off with a nationwide awareness day, Care Day 2019, on 15 February.
Sian’s journey through the care system was not always easy, as she explained.
I was born to profoundly deaf parents. My birth parents separated when I was two, and my birth mother met an extremely violent partner. I experienced physical, sexual, emotional abuse and was very neglected. I wasn't fed for very long periods of time resulting in me trying to find food in rubbish bins, and stealing food from packed lunch boxes. At school I was constantly being told off for bad behaviour, when actually I was crying out for help.
One day a teacher noticed significant bruising to my legs, and this triggered my journey in to foster care. I had over 20 placements, and I was eventually placed with the people I call my forever family, the second I walked in to their home I knew I belonged there.
The support of my forever family changed my life, and I will be forever grateful. I have successfully run a home-based child minding business for the last 10 years and my husband and I became therapeutic foster carers two years ago, which was always a dream of mine.
Speaking about Care Inspectorate Wales, and the important role they play Sian said:
Working in this sector and being regulated and inspected by CIW, I think they play a vital role. It is important that vulnerable people in Wales have an organisation that inspects and regulates the care they receive. Whether it is child in the care system, or an elderly person being looked after in a care home, it’s great that CIW ensure they receive a good standard of care.
Commenting on the ‘Proud to be me’ campaign, Chief Inspector Gillian Baranski said:
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the success stories and role models that are out there for young people in Wales who are experiencing or have recently left care.
It’s fantastic that people like Sian are stepping forward to support this campaign. I hope her story offers both encouragement and inspiration, and that other looked after children aspire to follow in her footsteps.