Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Being in Foster Care feeling unhappy!

Hey this is Mia ummm what should I do if I'm feeling unhappy in my foster care! But I've got respite carers however they haven't got any foster children but I want them to foster me? I'm 15 years old but I feel like I don't get many independence where I live now but I feel very happy when I'm at respite! 

Please try to contact me

I just feel like I want to be removed from this placement and moved to my respite carers!

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Respite foster care is where you stay with someone who isn’t your usual carer for a short period of time. It could just be for a few days, or a few weeks. It’s usually only temporary, while your full-time carer or parent isn’t able to look after you.  Not all young people living in care will go to respite care and it depends on your individual situation.

You might stay with the same respite carers every time, or you might get different ones. Either way, your respite carers will work with your full-time carers to be as prepared as possible for your stay. Everyone should be clear about when you’ll return to your usual home, and that the time you’re spending away is only for a while.

Sometimes you might not want to go back to your usual home after staying somewhere else. Being somewhere different can feel like a holiday. Sometimes having a new routine in a new place can make it seem like everything’s positive and easy going. It can feel very different to your life at home where you might be having disagreements about things like house rules or different opinions.

Sometimes foster placements don’t work out, for all kinds of reasons. There are some issues that aren’t okay – like abuse or neglect. If you’re being hurt by your foster parents then it’s really important to tell someone about it.

It’s important to remember that nowhere is perfect. No matter who you live with, there’ll always be problems from time to time. Depending on what those problems are, it’s often better to try and fix the issues, instead of starting all over again somewhere new. Even your respite carers might feel different if you lived there full time.

It’s important to talk to your social worker if you’re in care and you aren’t happy where you live. You can tell them what’s making you feel unhappy. They’ll try and work with you to make things better at home and do what’s best for you.

If you don’t feel like your social worker is listening, you can also get advice and support from someone called an advocate. This is an adult who will speak on your behalf if you’re not happy with the support you’re getting. You should be able to ask for an advocate from someone like NYAS.

Remember, our counsellors are here to help, and there’s always help and advice from other young people on our message boards.

Thanks for writing to me.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter