Sharing your family home with a stranger does not come naturally to adults let alone children, but the sons and daughters of foster carers do exactly that and are happy to tell us all about it.
Hayley, now 21 talks to our Supervising Social worker, Stacey Welsh, about her experience:
“It has been wonderful to be a child who fosters. I view it as an honour to share my family home, life and interests with another child. I was excited and apprehensive all combined into one when our family first started fostering but now I feel I have gained a wee sister, one that I couldn’t see my life without.”
“Hayley is just one of the many young people I have the privilege of working with as a Supervising Social Worker. The children who foster play such a pivotal role in the fostering process; we must respect their views, and support them in understanding both their role and the child who comes to stay with them. It is important that their views are considered from pre-approval stage onwards. Workers will ensure that any apprehension, worry, or concerns they have are addressed, ensuring the child knows they are being listened to in a sensitive manner.
Inspirational is a word that I would use for our children who foster; they can really make or break placements. They need to know they are valued just as much as the child coming to live with them. We use games, worksheets, chats, and even going for ice cream; as we get to know them, they feel more comfortable and open to talk about the situation.
At Care Visions, we ensure that children in foster care and our children who foster are equally included in all our family events; from Summer picnics and Christmas events, to support groups and activities. We also celebrated ‘The Fostering Network Sons and Daughters Month’ by sending thank you cards to all our children who foster, giving them a nod to say thanks for all your awesomeness!
One of those who received a card was Dillon. Now 18, he tells me how much his life has changed since his family started fostering:
“It’s great, I can be a big kid again. I get to play on the swings, go bike rides, make popcorn, and watch movies. Santa visits again at Christmas, what can be better!”
Here at Care Visions, we care passionately about all our children and carers, ensuring they feel included and supported, irrespective of their role in the home.”
Written by Stacey Welsh, Supervising Social Worker
To find out more about Fostering with Care Visions and request an information pack please visit our enquiry page by clicking here.