Can you introduce yourself please?
My name is Maggie Danesfahani.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a former looked after child who now runs a social care consultancy rezume, supporting children’s homes and services to meet and exceed their Ofsted Inspection and compliance requirements.
Do you mind telling us the reasons you went into care?
I went into care the first time as a newborn baby. I was adopted and the adoption broke down when I was a teenager and I went back into care.
What was it like when you first went into care?
I don’t remember much about the first time but as a teenager it was mainly a good experience.
Overall, what has your care experience been like?
It has been varied. Within the home there was a period which I can honestly say was the best time of my life. On the other side when I left care I went into a downward spiral that I had protected myself against when I was in the home.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Being rescued by my Nana when I went into a state of attachment trauma when my adopted Mother went in to hospital to have my brother and I was left with friends. I was 3 years old.
What is your biggest achievement?
I guess it is lasting this long and going on to have a successful career in a job I love. Two of my younger biological siblings died last year from drug and alcohol abuse.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
When I left care I spent many years fighting drug and alcohol issues along with depression and life was pretty much a struggle.
Overcoming them is a daily challenge.
Has your past had a positive or negative effect on your future?
I had a brilliant key worker in the home I was in and I am still in touch with him today. He believed we could achieve anything we wanted and he cared about us as individuals. His impact helped me greatly and a few other after. Negative, is the difficulty with attachment and the problems that come with it. It can be difficult to navigate through life.
My key worker … He believed we could achieve anything we wanted and he cared about us as individuals.
What has driven you?
A desire to succeed despite adversity.
Who is your role model?
My old key worker.
On my website i wrote a letter to my keyworker ….
You walked with me through some of the toughest times in my life. You helped me at a time when it seemed like everyone else had given up on me.
the full letter can be found here : A letter to my keyworker
What keeps you going?
Knowing in my own way I am giving something back.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
Yes, this is a constant battle. It doesn’t go away you learn to manage it.
How much have you changed since you left care?
My old key worker says he can’t believe what I have achieved so this is my benchmark.
When did you start to believe in yourself?
When I started to work in care and began to realise that I could achieve things.
Did you ever feel alone?
Yes, this is actually one of the things I still struggle with.
Did your foster parents help you?
My adoptive Mother did her best but the problems I came with were difficult for her to cope with.
What’s your message to children in care?
You can achieve anything you want. If I can you can.
You can achieve anything you want
If you could change anything about your life what would it be and why?
I would make different choices about how I managed family life because I made so many mistakes that I deeply regret.
How did it feel proving people wrong?
What do you think about care now?
It is very different and also the same if that makes sense. The problems young people have are the same as back in the day. Care these days is bound in regulations that make it difficult for providers to look after the most damage children who need their time and input.
How do you become successful despite a care background?
I took a plunge into the unknown. I ripped up my benefit book and went out to work for 16 hours as a substance misuse support worker. After that I kept going forward.
What is your message to professionals and foster carers?
Don’t give up.
You are doing a brilliant job. Sometimes you will not be the person that see’s the fruits of your hard work and investment. It might seem that there is no getting through to us but we are listening it just might take a lot longer for us to know what you meant and how much you were trying to help us.
It might seem that there is no getting through to us but we are listening it just might take a lot longer for us to know what you meant and how much you were trying to help us
Is there something you’re most proud of?
My son, he had to put up with a Mother who often put her own needs before his. Despite this he has survived.
Maggie is also the author of ‘Psycobabble’ ,