Will Fostering Affect My Children

When adults make a decision to become foster carers they also make the decision for their children to become part of a family that fosters. Fostering is a very significant change in anyone’s life, even more so for the children within the family. Children, even within the same family, will often have very different views about the prospect of becoming a family that fosters.

Sharing their home with a stranger is a huge issue for birth children and yet foster carers children often determine how successful placements are. As with all families, there will be arguments and disagreements, however fostering families also have lots of fun, make positive relationships and collect fond memories. Their privacy may be invaded, belongings may be borrowed without their permission, they may even feel that they have had less of your attention because you foster.

They also have to cope with the uncertainty of fostering; the child that comes to live with them that has become their friend may suddenly be able to return home. They will almost certainly miss them….even if the foster child had caused them some troubles.

They may also learn more patience, tolerance and understanding of others. Fostering involves everyone in the household and relies on working together, both within the family and Fairways Foster care team and other professionals to make it a success.

Fairways Foster Care advice is to talk to your birth children regularly throughout the application process, and to make a point of having regular family members only time about how being a foster family could or may affected you all, and how any difficulties that arise can be addressed.

As part of the foster carer assessment process, your social worker will talk with any birth children in the family on their own, which gives them the best opportunity to say what they really think about the idea of fostering. Our social worker will also try to evaluate how realistic their expectations are and how difficult, or easily they might adapt to life within a family that fosters.

Don’t be surprised if children change from being very keen to foster, to hating it, and then back again. Particularly in the early stages when the expectations of the children come up against the realities of the situation. This is fairly typical and our support staff and social worker will help the carers to help their birth child overcome any difficulties.

Birth children support groups provide support and the chance to share their experiences and meet others in similar situations. You should also bear in mind that many children will not want to tell their parents about their problems with fostering, as to do so might be seen by some as letting their parents down. Please make very real efforts to find out how they are feeling and coping with fostering.

We at Fairways Foster Care acknowledge that birth children need alone time with their parents and arrange respite care for the foster child, when the foster children will spend time with their support worker/another foster carer to allow this to occur.