October is a special month for everyone involved in fostering as it’s a time for us to celebrate the positive influence our foster carers own children have on the lives of foster children.
From those first faltering steps a child takes through the front door of their new foster home, the foster carers birth children play a vital role in helping the newest member of the family to learn the way their home works from the simplest of day to day routines to celebrations and family gatherings.
From the very beginning, we include sons and daughters
From the first moment people contact Blue Sky to enquire about becoming a foster carer, their own children are involved. If they wish to come along, they’re welcome to attend our informal ‘Introduction to Fostering’ events. Should they decide, as a family, to take the next step and have a ‘home visit’ from one of our fostering advisors, then everyone in the household is encouraged to be a part of that visit.
Many families going through our assessment process attend our ‘Skills to Foster’ training together and some go on to attend training such as First Aid. Birth children can become as involved as much or as little as they wish. Right from the very beginning, birth children’s views and feelings about being part of a family that fosters are fundamental and given very careful consideration by the assessing social worker and Blue Sky as a whole.
Looking after sons and daughters
Before a foster child is placed in their new foster home, we gather as much information about them as possible. A process called ‘matching’ then takes place as our Placements Team considers every aspect of the foster child’s needs matching them to the most appropriate foster carers. This is a vital part of our work as it forms the foundation for the success of the placement. A major part of ‘matching’ involves making sure the sons and daughters are going to be happy with the placement.
Sharing your parents with someone else
No one could ever pretend it’s easy to share your mum or dad with another child but here at Blue Sky we support the whole family when a placement arrives and throughout the time the foster child’s stay. We hold regular groups, across our region, for birth children to attend to share their experiences, achievements and thoughts. The groups also provide a safe and confidential platform for birth children to raise any concerns they may have.
Benefits to birth children
For many birth children, fostering can be an empowering experience. It allows them to become involved in changing another child’s life for the better. Supporting a new foster child, sharing their games, hobbies and friends is mutually beneficial and it gives them a good insight into the lives of others. Many birth children speak of the fact that they feel the situation to be strange at first, but things settle and the foster child becomes a member of the family.
Competition time for sons and daughters!
We’re holding our very own ‘blogging’ competition! We’re inviting sons and daughters of foster carers everywhere to send us their blog of what it’s like to be part of a fostering family. Every child of a foster carer has a story to tell, why not tell us yours?! Some of our own carers’ children have made a short video to explain the competition. There are lovely prizes to win and we’ll forward your blog to the Fostering Network for a chance to win a prize in their blogging competition, too! So don’t delay!
Interested in becoming a family who fosters? Get in touch to find out more!