Feels like home: Khyl’s story
Khyl is just like any other 18-year-old, he plays footy, heads to the beach or the pool when it gets hot.
He just got his License and brought his first car which means he now spends much of his time tinkering under the bonnet or cruising around with his girlfriend.
But, unlike many other kids his age, Khyl has spent most of his life living in out-of-home care, in foster care homes to group homes homes, since he was born.
Khyl has been living with OzChild foster carer, Emily for about 12 months, but the two have known each other since Khyl was 16.
Being with Emily feels most like home to him.
“I can be myself with Emily. With Emily there is no judgement, and I know, no matter what she will be there for me, I feel like I can tell her anything,”
– says Khyl
Khyl says being with Emily “is the best” and that living in a house full of other kids makes him feel like he finally belongs, “it feels like family here, being able to build a relationship with the other kids is really cool, and my brother lives here too,” he recently told us.
Khyl’s time in care hasn’t been easy, he comes with baggage, his trauma. In the 18 short years Khyl has lived, he has experienced a lot. Too much for any kid to carry on their own, but along the way he has had the support of many carers, case managers and youth workers who have helped shape the resilient, sassy, determined and sweet young man he is today.
– remembers Khyl of his time in a residential group home.
“I was in resi care when I was young, that wasn’t a great time, it isn’t a good place for kids to go, you see a lot of stuff, the police are always there and it’s hard to make friends,”
Over time, Khyl has built a great friendship with his OzChild case worker, Austin, and says he has been a great help to him
“He has supported me to get stuff organised, you know, Austin listens to me and he seems like he cares, he always called or messaged me, I knew he was there for me.”
Khyl recently turned 18, but that doesn’t mean the OzChild team, or his foster carer Emily have stopped caring, both are there to help him as he transitions into adulthood and begins the next chapter of his life.
And Khyl, well he has no plans to leave home just yet.
“I love living with Emily, this is my family, I’m not going anywhere.”
And Emily feels exactly the same way!
Khyl’s story reminds us not to judge a book by its cover, and we couldn’t agree more.
“My advice to other carers is to be patient with the kids and inclusive, understand what they have been through, like their trauma, most kids in care come with trauma, you can’t expect to get a perfect kid, we have all experienced trauma in some way we are not all just troublemakers though, our life experiences have made us who we are.”
That’s pretty sound advice if you ask us!
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