“We were staying in foster care; me, my brother and my sister and we were going to get split up. No one wants three children, one with a disability and the other two quite young. Then my older brother and his wife said they’d take us in. We’ve been so lucky to have them. If my sister had got separated from us I don’t know where she’d be now.

My sister has an intellectual disability so she didn’t know what was going on most of the time. My mum was an alcoholic so she didn’t take care of us very much. I’d have to make dinner and stuff, so she was fed, and my younger brother as well. When we went to live with my brother and my sister-in-law it was really different because they did everything. It was hard not to keep being like a mother, so they had to say to me “Shine, you can just do your own thing. You don’t have to worry, we’re here now.”

I get migraines. They’re caused by stress. When I first started getting them I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was wrong. I know now and I can feel them coming so someone grabs me a bucket. It’s pretty bad. I need to find something that works for me which will make me less stressed. I’ve been given a voucher to do a resilience course. It’s amazing that I get to do it for free. My sister-in-law is really happy for me cos she thinks it will help with my anxiety and migraines.

When I moved in with my brother I started trying at school. I’ve graduated school now and doing well. I’ve applied for nursing. I’m excited, I think I’ll really enjoy it. I know there are going to be times when it’s really hard but I guess we’ll get trained to deal with it properly. It will be difficult but I think it’ll be worth it.”


If you feel sick, or are in pain and it’s an emergency - Phone 111 now for immediate assistance. Otherwise, you’re entitled to a head to toe body check up. Ask your caregiver or social worker to set it up for you, or call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 FAMILY (326 459)

If you, or someone you know, is feeling down or unwell, mentally or physically - The best place to start looking for advice and support is often your GP or doctor. You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If you want to work towards a career in nursing - Lots of places offer courses. Have a look at Nursing Council: How to become a nurse for more information.

If you want to get a job, or do further study - Check out the Youth Service. They support 16 to 19 year olds to find pathways to jobs and an independent future. So if you’re thinking about learning more, getting into training or heading to work, they can help you figure out your next step.

Something else? You can Get Support or find out How To.

They had to say to me “Shine, you can just do your own thing. You don’t have to worry, we’re here now.”


They had to say to me “Shine, you can just do your own thing. You don’t have to worry, we’re here now.”