Naomi is 20 years old and a participant on our Give & Take Scheme in Belfast. Here's her story...
My experience in foster was good at stages but also bad at times. The good things about foster care were meeting new families along your journey, who welcomed you with open arms. The bad things were that I was in care from a couple of weeks old, so I've been in 43 different foster homes and one residential care home.
There was one foster family who was really bad to me and my older sister. They had an adopted daughter also, they closed our toes in doors, poured kettle water over us when we were in the bath, they had a choice to lose their job or the adopted daughter went back into the care system.
In 2008 I went home to my mother for a while but she relapsed and went back to drinking, as she and my father were alcoholics. The reason me and my siblings ended up in the care system was my mother was an alcoholic from she was 15, when she met my father. There was a lot of domestic violence, my father done attempted murder on my mother, this went on for 12 years.
I ended up in a foster home with a family in Newtownards, I was with them six years. I'm still in contact with them, they are old now so they had to give up fostering. They were the best family placement I was in.
My young brother and sister are still in a foster care placement in Bangor, they are placed together. We see them every month for an hour. We all enjoy our time we spend together. We all have a tight bond. We all are very close with our mother but unfortunately me and my wee brother don't speak to our father as he is still an alcoholic. My mother has been off the drink for three years now, in the future she is going to fight to get my brother and sister back in her care.
I'm a young person from a care background. I am pleased that I've been through the life I have because it's made me who I am today. I want to go on in life and be a foster carer and give back to the system. I had a bad start in life but I'd love to give a young person the life they deserve.
Now that I am out of care, I have my own house, two dogs, I spend time with my mother, I keep in touch with my older sister and nieces. I'm happy with my life now.