"The experiences I've had from fostering have helped me to realise the direction that I wish to follow in the future. Fostering has developed my social understanding... I will never forget when we looked after an Iranian asylum seeker and he cooked us a delicious meal with saffron-marinated chicked and steamed rice."
17-year-old Bella, The Fostering Network 2015
The sons and daughters of our foster carers play a vital part in their fostering family. It's not just your parents that are fostering, you are too and therefore your opinion is extremely important. We understand that fostering may sometimes be difficult and present a few challenges causing you to feel mixed emotions.
What has fostering got to do with me?
You will probably experience quite a few changes in your household for example there will probably be quite a few rule changes in your house when someone new comes to live with you. This is because your parents are employed as foster carers by us and have to follow certain fostering regulations to ensure that you, your family and the foster child remain safe. For example, one thing is changing how you dress around the house. You may have to be more aware of covering yourself when coming out of the bathroom or walking around the house at night. This is so everyone in the house is kept safe and feels comfortable.
It might be that you have to share your belongings when a new person comes to live with you. Not only this but sharing your parents time and attention. This is often because the children and young people that are fostered need a lot of care and attention because of the difficult experiences they have gone through in their lives. If this is making you feel sad or frustrated, talk to your parents and let them know. There will be things that can be done to help the situation. For example, locking away your special belongings so they cannot be broken.
Friends and family
Explaining fostering to friends and family may be tricky at times. People may not understand what fostering is; therefore this is always a good place to start, you can explain what foster carers do and why it is needed. If the foster child is of a similar age to you, they may attend the same school. If you find a conversation difficult or feel uncomfortable, simply say that you cannot talk about it as it would not be fair on the fostered child.
Remember that some information about the foster child must remain confidential, this includes information about their past. If it helps, think how you would feel if someone told other people your personal information?
Someone to talk to
If you are experiencing any difficulties at school or at home mention this to your parents, a social worker, a member of school staff or our fostering ambassador for children who foster.
Our Fostering Ambassador
Bethan is our ambassador for children of foster carers. Her parents have been foster carers for 19 years so she has plenty of experience and advice to share. She is happy to have an informal chat with you if you have any concerns or questions.
Here are a few words from Bethan...
Hi, my names Bethan, I’m 20 years old and this is my story.
My family have been fostering for 19 years, which means I was only one and my brother was only five when our parents got approved. When a child in care walks through your doors you have a mixture of feelings excitement, anticipation, nervous, anxious, worried or even scared I know I did at times especially when I was younger. But as I grew up I started to realise what foster families are actually here for! We’re here to help give that child a start in life that gives them support so that their personalities can shine through.
I believe that the children of the foster family need more support as at times, like I said it can be very difficult and I know at them particular times in my life I would of appreciated someone to talk to, someone I could rely on to talk about any of my problems I might have encountered.
Send a message to Bethan
If you would like to contact Bethan email firstname.lastname@example.org.