October is the time of year that everyone involved in providing foster care, led by the Fostering Network, celebrates the incredible contribution made by the sons and daughters of foster carers.
Many people who are considering fostering worry about how becoming a foster carer will affect their own children. They often fear that their birth children will resent sharing their home and their family with other children, that they will feel left out or somehow inadequate, and they often worry about their own children ‘picking up’ bad behaviour from the children they foster. And of course, it’s right that parents should consider these things because, after all, birth children are just as much a part of the foster care team as their parents.
Happily, the reality of the experiences of children whose parents foster is frequently a much brighter picture. Family Fostercare recently held a consultation day with looked after children and birth children, and here’s some of things the children of foster carers told us about their experiences of fostering:
Brilliant, it shows we are not selfish
Makes me feel proud
I enjoy helping other children
These kind of comments from the sons and daughters of foster carers tell us in their own words what we see every day – being part of a family that fosters can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience for birth children. Far from knocking their self-esteem it frequently helps to develop it, as they recognise their own contribution towards helping other children. They have the opportunity to develop empathy and understanding of other people and learn to see through behaviour to the person underneath. They often demonstrate sophisticated inter-personal skills and a strong social conscience. All qualities that most parents would wish to see in their children.
Family Fostercare are delighted to join the Fostering Network this month in celebrating the sons and daughters of our foster carers. We have sent each and every one of them a cards to say thankyou and how proud we are of the incredibly important work they do. If you would like to do the same, why not visit our Facebook page and leave your own message for them which we will publish them into a booklet at the end of the month for each child.
If you are considering fostering and would like to speak to us about the effect it might have on your own children we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch, either by calling us free on 0800 3213230 or use our online enquiry form.