I heard a young care leaver interviewed today about family.  She spoke about the difference between her life experience and those of teenagers who live with their families. She was a resilient, independent 17-year old.  When asked if she felt her carers, from the children’s home, could ever replicate the care of a family she said ‘no, they’re not blood’. I see how that is true for her as the ‘carers’ are paid workers.  They came in and out of the home on a shift basis. Some will be genuinely loving and caring.  For others, it was a job.

We collect our family

However, we can choose the people we have close to us. I’ve been lucky enough to collect a fantastic group of friends who are my family. They are people who I can rely on. Totally. They give unswerving support, friendship, love and respect. If they say they’ll do something, they do it. We  laugh together (a lot) . As a group we there are a diversity of views which triggers debate and challenge  Everyone listens intently when one of us feels sad, angry, hopeless. They offer practical help and kindly, insightful suggestions.
And that, to me, is the definition, beauty and value of family.
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