Each year The Fostering Network celebrate the vital contribution which birth children of foster carers bring to the fostering role. Each October we recognise that children and young people play an important part in welcoming fostered children and young people in their home and families.
Sometimes fostered children can find it easier to settle into a new home alongside birth children and young people. A birth child has a foot in both camps – they understand how their house and family run, but also see these things from a child or young person’s point of view, therefore they can understand things from a fostered child or young person perception.
Taking time to listen to the sons and daughters of foster carers and hearing what they have to say about their experience of being part of a family that fosters is an important way of showing our appreciation of the role they play and helps us to improve our service and support offered to them.
Many people are worried about the potential impact fostering may have on their birth children and can be one of the major barriers to becoming a foster carer. The reality is that many birth children benefit from being part of a family that fosters by encouraging birth children to have empathy and an understanding of the way other children and young people live. In turn this helps a child or young person to learn and develop into a caring, independent adult.
Our Agency understands the importance of supporting birth children as well as our foster carers and any fostered children and young people. We support birth children and young people by including them, building up relationships with them and celebrating their personal achievements. All birth children are provided with information about our Agency so they can approach us for support, advice or guidance if they want it. In addition, we hold regular support sessions to give birth children and young people the opportunity to meet with other children and young people who live in a fostering family.