STATEWIDE – In Part 1 of the series “The Foster System: A need for families in Maine,” we explained why there s a need for foster families. In Part 2, we spoke with a woman who says foster care saved her.
“I would have been one of those weird stories that child kills their parent in the middle of the night,” said Samantha Davis, a former foster child.
Davis is now in her early 30s with a loving family of her own but life at home growing up was difficult.
“My dad was really sexually abusive. I didn’t even know how long it’d been going on ’cause I always remembered it,” she said.
Davis said she was briefly put into foster care when she was about 3.
“I lived with my grandmother for a little over a year. And I do remember living in with her,” said Davis.
She went back home but said the abuse continued.
“When my mom had to work late, I tried my best not to go home because I knew what was coming,” she said.
And when she was 11 was put back into foster care.
“I told my friend what was happening and she told her mom. Her mom told the school,” Davis said.
She said her parents had just gotten home from buying a new TV when the found foster workers waiting at the doorstep.
“You could just see the rage in his face,” she said of her father. “They took me into protective custody because he threatened to kill me.”
She said the adjustment to foster care was hard.
“I totally blamed myself. I thought none of this would have happened if I just kept my mouth shut,” said Davis.
Travis Bryant, executive director of Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. and the Kinship Program, said statistics show some children may have problems adjusting.
“The whole experience is traumatic in itself. What was going on prior to the intervention, the intervention and even with positive change … represents a loss,” said Bryant.
But Samantha said her life would have turned much different if she hadn’t been placed with her foster parents.
“The fact that I was making a plan to kill him, scared me,” said Davis, “I was not going to take it anymore. I was really close to the end of my rope.”
Now a clinical social worker, Davis helps others involved in the foster care system and credits the system with saving her life.
“My foster parents were life-changing really … they were amazing … they were just there when I needed them,” said Davis.
For more information on becoming a foster parent, visit maine.gov.