Sons and Daughters Month – An interview with a foster carer and her children
It is The Fostering Network Sons and Daughters Month. Throughout the month of October, The Fostering network aims to shine a light on the children of foster carers and show appreciation for the role they play in helping looked after children to feel at home and happy in their foster family.
Being the child of a foster carer is not always easy. Children are asked to share not only their parents, but their home, their toys, their family and their lives with someone they have never met before. Happy foster families need all family members to be willing and eager participants in the fostering journey. Children of foster carers can play just an important role in looked after children’s lives as their foster carers do.
Last year N joined our team of foster carers during the pandemic. N has two daughters and is currently caring for another little girl. This Sons and Daughters month we have asked N to share what it is like being a parent and a foster parent. We have also interviewed her two biological daughters, to find out what being a part of a fostering family is like.
Sons and Daughters Month – An Interview with our foster carer N
If you are a parent and considering fostering too, we have interviewed N and she has lots of advice and insight for you.
How did you bring up the idea of fostering with your two daughters? How old were they when you started fostering?
“My Daughters were 11 and 7. We have family members that foster so I was lucky that they already knew exactly what fostering was and what was involved. When I spoke to them about the idea of me fostering, they loved the idea straight away”.
Did your daughters have any worries about becoming a foster family?
“The girls did worry about the child not settling with us. I spoke to them lots and made sure they were prepared to have a child that may not settle straight away, as they will be missing their family. I made sure they knew that if that was the case, it would not be because the child didn’t like them”.
What role do your children play in helping your looked after children feel at home and like an important part of the family?
“The girls loved the chance to show the child around and tell them everything about our family and home. They always include her in everything they do and treat her exactly as they do each other”.
What would you say is the most challenging part of having birth children and foster children?
“Sometimes it’s challenging to make sure no one feels like someone else has more of my time than others. I make sure that as well as family time I spend one on one time with each child to make sure they know they always have that time when my attention is 100% for them”.
What is the most rewarding part of being a foster carer and having birth children too?
“The job itself is so rewarding, but seeing how amazing my children are at helping to make another child feel safe and loved, and seeing how they have changed and grown into the role is by far the most rewarding part”.
What would your three pieces of advice be for parents considering becoming a foster carer?
1. Speak to your children and fully explain everything about fostering.
2. Make them feel involved in the whole process, and include them in the training and planning for a placement.
3. Don’t feel like you don’t have enough love to share between your children and a foster child… your home will be filled with even more love.
An Interview with N’s daughters – What is it like being a child in a fostering family?
To help give a full picture of what being a child in a fostering family is like, we also spoke to N’s two daughters – E and D. The girls have shared what it is like to live as a foster family and how they feel about being a part of a fostering family.
What do you like the most about being a part of a foster family?
E – Being able to help another child have the safe home they deserve.
D – Having someone else to have fun with.
What’s your favourite thing to do with the children who come and join your family?
E – Have a laugh and enjoy fun activities.
D – Play games
How did you feel when your mum first said she was thinking about fostering?
E – I was really excited and couldn’t wait for her to start.
D – I was so happy and really excited to meet the foster child.
Do you enjoy being part of a fostering family?
E – Yes
D – Yes
Children of foster carers play a huge role in making looked after children feel safe and happy in their foster family. Children often treat their parent’s foster child like a sibling and are happy to include them in their games and family time.
Life as a foster family isn’t always easy, the children have often been through difficult and traumatic experiences at home with their birth families and it can take time for them to settle into their new foster home. The birth children of foster carers can help to make this settling in process easier and can make the whole experience a lot more fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.
This Sons and Daughters Month we want to say a big thank you to all the children of all of our foster carers. You play an integral role in helping the children who come to live with your family to feel happy and loved.
If you are a parent and are considering fostering, please do get in touch. We are happy to discuss everything with you and will be more than happy to chat about what fostering is like when you already have children. We are actively seeking more foster carers in the West Midlands area, contact us today if you would like more information.
To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.