Recently we held a one day workshop with some of our birth children to find out what it is like for them being part of a fostering family. Eight young people attended the group and their ages ranged from 8 years old to 17 years old. The findings from the workshop will help Blue Sky Fostering develop an induction for future birth children embarking on fostering with their families.
We discovered that there are lots of positives and negatives with a period of adjustment required for having new people living in the home 24 hours a day. The young people often said that one of the hardest parts of fostering was when looked after children who they had built a relationship with left the home and they were not sure if they would be able to see them again.
They also acknowledged how important it is to speak to someone about how it feels to be a birth child who fosters so steps can be put in place to deal with any difficulties. One young man commented that Blue Sky Fostering have been a great help and make him feel as important as the looked after children in his home.
Overall, the birth children said that their lives had changed for the better and the best thing was knowing that they were helping to directly improve the lives of looked after children.
Here are some of the thoughts of our birth children in their own words:
“At first it was strange to have these new people in our lives and the attention to be focussed on them mainly but after a while when everything gets settled it’s absolutely fine because you’re just one big family.”
“Sharing my parents, I found not so hard as I thought it was going to be because I’m grown up and not relying on my parents so much.”
“The best thing about fostering is that you know you’re changing the children’s lives at the end of it.”
“The most difficult part of fostering is when someone goes and it’s really sad and them telling their stories and how they’ve been in foster care.”
“I think my family have become closer together. Having a younger child with us, we do more things as a family unit.”
At the workshop we tried to create an environment where the birth children could talk openly with us about their feelings. As a result they have given us a really valuable insight into what it’s like to be a birth child who fosters and have given us lots of advice we can pass on to our future birth children whose family take up the role of foster care.
Many thanks to everyone involved.