Fostering involves the whole family so when you choose to foster your children will be fostering too. It is therefore important that they understand exactly what fostering means and what it will mean for them.
Below you will find an explanation of fostering tailored to children which encourages them to ask their parents questions about fostering.
We believe it is extremely important to support the children of our foster carers, as how they feel about fostering could affect your ability to foster. We therefore have a support group for our Children of Foster Carers known as CFC. This gives children and young people a chance to meet others whose families foster and have some fun doing activities they choose. To find out more see our leaflets.
"If someone’s family was thinking of fostering, I’d say do it! I’ve never seen my mum so tired but then I’ve never seen her so happy!" -Child of foster carer
What does fostering mean for me?
Your family has chosen to be a foster family for children who can no longer be cared for by their own parents or family.
When you are going to be involved in fostering, it's important for you to ask your family and the social workers, who help them do their fostering job, any questions about it that you have. How it makes you feel, if it worries you, how long children will be staying, or if you just don't understand what is happening.
Fostering is like applying for a really important job. When this happens people will come to your house to see your family. Sometimes they will need to speak to you about how you feel about fostering. It is important that you say how you feel - it is your home as well.
Like any new job you will be given some training about how fostering might affect your family and possibly you.
Most of the time you will be told about children before they come to stay, other times children may come in a bit of a rush. This means you won't know much about them. You can ask your parents anything you want or need to know, they will tell you what they can. Sometimes the children who come to live with you may have a disability and your family will be able to help give the people who look after them a rest, as sometimes it can be tiring looking after someone with additional needs.
Living in a different house with different rules and not having your favourite things with you can be really hard. You can help them by making them feel welcome and being friendly.
There is a group for children whose family foster. The group meets regularly and it’s not just a group that is about talking! We do lots of fun things as well which you can choose.
"CFC has helped our family by building a relationship with our birth children.The CFC leaders have made them feel valued as part of the fostering team who look after the children in our house and recognise the sacrifices that they make to help our foster children. Although we as parents think we are looking after our birth children, CFC leaders have reassured us that in the main we have and have picked up issues that we needed to know about and deal with before they became a problem. This support has been done in a causal and sympathetic way leaving our children feeling cared for. The other CFC children have reassured my children that they are normal and enjoy the fun they have together" - B&NES foster carer