Puerto Rico

"Who do I trust?" by richard ross

I’m from Puerto Rico, and also Bushwick. I was eight years old when I went into foster care. I’ve been in 12 different foster cares. Mom had a case of abuse. My dad was sexually abusive. I told my mom but she didn’t believe it. I told my grandmother and my counselor. They took me out of my home. I was scarred. They took my dad away. I went into the hospital, the Children’s Unit. I was there two weeks. Now I have been in foster care for eight years. I never liked it. I didn’t see no social worker. I went to South Oaks Hospital for a year and a half. I had behavior issues. I was fighting a lot. I went to the Children’s Psychiatric Center. I was there for nine months. My mom and dad were always fighting, always arguing. I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I would like to be with my mom and dad again. Who do I trust? I don’t even know. I can’t have a phone. I am not on that level.

F., age 15

F., age 15

My mom and dad were always fighting, always arguing.

I’ve been here two months. There are kids that have been here for years. I have a foster mom that I go to. She was a caseworker and she was adopted herself. She is going through the process of adopting me. I’m not sure what the difference between foster care and being adopted. I’m hoping it works out. I trust her. Her name is P. Adopted and Foster is that somebody takes you into their home. On my 15th birthday they wanted me to go to my foster mom, but I didn’t want to go there. I wanted to go with my case planner at the agency. My foster mom was screaming at me and said that if I lived in her house, under her roof, I wasn’t going to talk back to her. I was with them in a car and they were arguing with me in a car and they stopped the car and put me out in the middle of the street and left me there. So I don’t like them. I don’t feel comfortable or safe in my foster home. I like ECAD. I deal with Reggie. I’m the only one who can deal with him. I go and work with him for an hour and a half Monday through Thursday.

— F., Age 15.