CFTs can stir up a lot of emotions. Below are some of the concerns North Carolina youth in care have before these meetings.
Afraid, homesick, and hopeful are the emotions I feel at my team meeting.
—Dalton, age 11
My first [meeting] was very scary because I did not know what was going to happen in the end. I felt very anxious, worried, and sad. Personally, I feel like there is mostly bad news at my [meeting], but sometimes there is good news. That good news is giving me the drive to go on until my dad is ready for us to move in with him.
—Blake, age 13
I hate CFT meetings. I hate the “all eyes on me” feeling. I also hate the embarrassed feeling you have when you have to explain why you’re in trouble. Most of all I hate knowing it’s some people’s job to be there, knowing they get paid to listen to things about me and make decisions with me.
—Nikki, age 16
I sometimes get scared when I am about to go into my meetings, because I do not know what the team is going to say or if they are going to move me. Sometimes I am happy to meet because I have important things to talk about. Sometimes I am so excited to see the people who are in my meeting that I just can’t sit still.
—Tiffany, age 14
Why do I get nervous when I hear that I have a [meeting]? I cannot express how I am really feeling, but I do have many emotions. My hands are shaky and I feel sick to my stomach. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I feel like my future is being tossed around like a ball. I have questions that need to be expressed out loud. I have to face my fears.
—Melanie, age 14
Meetings bring back a small portion of being able to take charge of at least a few things in my own life.
—Jessie, age 16
I’ve had multiple CFTs with, in my opinion, all the wrong people. People like my aunt, my cousins, and family friends. I would sit and ask myself: why are all these irrelevant people here?
—Amber, age 16
No one likes to come to team meetings!
—Alexandria, age 12
Reprinted from Fostering Perspectives, vol. 16, no. 2 www.fosteringperspectives.org