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Marwa's Foster Care Story

Marwa shares her experience as a young person in care with ISP, opening up about meeting her foster family for the first time and the moment she knew they would be in her life forever.

May 13 2024 - 5 min read

21-year-old Marwa officially left foster care and continues to live with her foster family as she trains to become a psychotherapist, completing her work placement year with us.

She works very closely with Maria, ISP Teynham’s consulting centre therapist who was responsible for Marwa’s therapeutic needs since she was in care with ISP and now supports her in her placement year.

In this video, Marwa opens up about meeting her foster family for the first time and the moment she knew they would be in her life forever.

Marwa's Foster Care Story

Marwa’s foster care journey 

Like many children in care, Marwa was anxious and scared about meeting her foster family but recalled feeling a warmth like no other when she arrived.

She said, “I walked into the house and I just felt warmth everywhere, from Mandy my carer and from Lily my foster sister. They really made sure that they could do whatever they could to make me feel comfortable.

They took things very slow because they wanted to get to know me and for me to feel comfortable, they created a nice environment for me and it just made me stop and think ‘yeah, this might be my forever family’.”

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"ISP has become my family"

Marwa’s gratitude for her foster family, especially Mandy, is something she speaks about enthusiastically.

“She just made me feel so important and special to have someone actually fight for me. That was something that had never happened to me before, I’d never had a voice. I used to compare myself a lot to her biological daughter, I didn’t think she’d love me when she had a daughter of her own but her advocacy erased all of those thoughts, she treated me like I was her daughter and nurtured me.”

She continued, “I also had a lot of support growing up with ISP, it’s helped me immensely and they still support me even to this day - I often get emails or phone calls! Everyone at the agency makes the effort to talk to me and acknowledge me and it’s made such a big difference. It’s like a family supporting you. ISP has become my family and to see that they’re still here for me even after all these years, even into adulthood.”

Ready to give back

Maria spoke about Marwa’s progress and her need for a work placement to finish her studies. She described how proud she is of Marwa and how amazing it is that she wants to give back to the foster care community.

Maria explained: “The more we spoke about it, the more it made sense for her to do her placement with us here. She’s got to a place where she’s able to join us from the other side of the coin and has a unique way of relating to the young people.

"It's been nice to be able to look back and say to them ‘I was like you once’"

“It’s been an absolute honour to have a care leaver come back to us and show us how much they’ve grown and that they want to give back. We’re more than happy to be told how to make our services better for children and keep them therapeutic, so it’s an amazing benefit of Marwa putting her real and lived experience into the growth of the organisation.”

Marwa is looking forward to a career working with children who need some extra support through therapy. She said working with ISP is giving her some invaluable experience in a great organisation, even referring to it as ‘the whole package.’

She said that she hopes to act as an advocate for children in care, and that having care experience herself has given her an advantage. She said: 
“I’ve already had a few interactions with the children here and they are absolutely amazing. It's been nice to be able to look back and say to them ‘I was like you once’. It makes it easier for them to relate to me.”