Hermione is a birth child of foster carers, and shares her experience of being part of a fostering family.
Fostering is a great experience for all ages. We have had different ages of children who have different hobbies. It is always nice when they go home as you know they are back with their parents.
During our first year we have had all different ages of children. I really like it when younger children join us and become part of the family. Especially when they have different interests, which they share with us. One of the children we fostered was my age and got me into colouring and beatboxing, which I still do now. We also squabbled from time to time like brother and sister too, which just means they were definitely part of the family!
Sometimes, when foster children live with us, they feel safer to talk to someone their age rather than an adult stranger. I found with our last child in placement and this made me feel more responsible.
Although it’s great to foster, it is also nice to spend time as a family and go on holiday with just mum and dad. Sometimes this gives everyone (event the children in foster care) a break. (Plus you don’t need to follow the safer caring policy when abroad.) I have found since we have started fostering I have started to treasure my family more. I think this is because I now know that some children can’t live with their parents like us. Fostering has made me more grateful about my home life and basically everything I used to take for granted.
Mum and Dad try to have one to one time with us all. We have a system where we get one to one time every night. This happens just before bed when mum comes and has a few minutes with just us. We can use this however we want, we can chat or read together.
Mum spends some time on the phone talking to social workers and also spends time on the computer writing up a daily diary about the foster child and this can take up some time.
It would be nice to get some training as a birth child of foster carers. As a family we have discussed fostering for many years and Mum and Dad explained the pros and cons about fostering before and during their assessment. Fostering has been a big, but good, decision and it is helping many children, some even my age. No matter how much you train you will never know what is around the corner and what the children may bring to you….