Almost a year since the Child Protection Act came into effect, 44 children have found alternative care by permanently joining a family and are now living in a stable environment. These are children under a care order who for various reasons could no longer keep living with their biological parents.
Television Malta spoke with a young man who lives with a family permanently and said that with the love he has received from his foster carers he can finally take charge of his own life.
“If it were not for them I would not be the person I am today.”
He is referring to his foster parents Anna and John Borg who over the last five years opened their hearts and their homes to this young man whose childhood was spent at a children’s home. The couple, which has three children, spotted the boy when he was an altar boy.
“I used to see him there and he was so small and cute. He was just like a teddy bear.”
The nun who used to take care of him convinced the couple to take the boy so he could spend Christmas Day with them. He had hardly ever experienced this day in a family environment.
“He used to tell me Anna, how I wish we don’t have to keep going back and forth, but that I can stay with you.”
His dream has became a reality thanks to a new law which has allowed children to be permanently fostered with a family by means of a Court order.
“We had no less than 44 cases where the children who were fostered will now remain with the family permanently, ensuring stability. Having stability is very important in one’s life especially for fostered children.”
Speaking to Television Malta, the boy who is 16, said that he can now plan his life without anxiety.
“I have peace of mind that I do not have to move so that means I am calm and I know that my future is mine, and does not depend on others.”
The teenager is growing up and is more aware of his appearance. He also wants to start going to the gym.
“He thinks he is going to have a six pack within two or three months, but if he puts something into his head, he does it.”
The couple has a good relationship with the boy’s real mother. This, they point out, is in the interest of the teenager himself and his mother calls him every day.
“She appreciates that we are taking care of him and are raising him because she cannot. She simply cannot do it. Full stop.”
The teenager has become the apple of their eye and they thank God that they decided to foster him.
“You cannot help but love him. If someone says something against him, it is as if they said something against my other son,” Anna says.
The teenager added: “If no one loves you and you do not love anyone, there is no point in living. Because of this I have a chance to live, and show my love towards others while they show their love to me.”