National Families Week is a chance to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society and to take the time to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children especially as they grow. At CREATE, we know that family isn’t just your blood relations and can be those special people in your life who encourage, support and care about you. CREATE Young Consultant Keyarnee has reflected on what family means to her as a young person with a care experience, and why family is important to her.
What Does Family Mean To You?
The dictionary states that family is “parents and their children, sometimes including grandchildren and other relatives” or “all the descendants of a common ancestor”. However, this definition to me means that ‘my family’ are only the people I am biologically related to. In this case, to me family means ‘an unchosen and often unwanted people in my life who cause harm, grief and an unstable life of abuse’. But this is not the main meaning family has to me. To me, family also means ‘a group of people (related or not) who are able to trust and support each other in a nurturing and unconditionally loving environment’. Family to me also means a place of belonging and a place to feel safe.
Why Is Family Important To You?
Both definitions above can be applied to why family is important to me. My entire biological family are not important to me in the way that most people would think. They are/were important to me because they make up my identity and they know about some of my childhood. However, my foster family (my family) is very important to me. My family is important to me because they love and support me without being judging. They are also important to me because I know I will always have someone to turn to, someone will always be there to catch me if I fall and because they made me who I am today. Family is also important to me because I feel like I belong. The most important thing to me about family is that they provided the building blocks for who I am and continue to be the backbone of who I will become.
Thank you Keyarnee for sharing your perspective on family as part of National Families Week. To find out more about National Families Week, please click here.