Sons and Daughters Month is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign during October to celebrate the vital contribution which the children of foster carers make to foster care.
Foster4, a pioneering foster carer recruitment service, recruiting foster carers on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council are participating in the campaign, recognising and rewarding the important role foster carer’s sons and daughters play in welcoming fostered children into their families.
One such person isSasha who lives in Warrington and was 13 years old when her parents decided to become foster carers. Now in her 30’s, Sasha vividly remembers the foster children that came to stay with her family and has some fond memories of growing up in a household with foster siblings, many from very different backgrounds from herself.
Sasha recalls when her Mum first told her she was going to be a foster carer; “I remember my younger brother and I sat down and had a big chat with Mum and Dad about her decision to foster and what it might be like for the family. Fostering meant that Mum could have more of a homebased lifestyle, be around more for her own children while also caring for other children that may not have a stable or loving home life like we did.”
Sasha goes on to say: “Mum initially offered long term placements for children but over the years also provided respite for other carers and mother and baby placements. Around 30 foster children in total have come to stay, sometimes just for a few days, other times for months and even years. In that time I learned that not all children were as lucky as myself and my brother, it really opened my eyes to some of the neglect and abuse that some children experience. I remember one boy would take food out of our kitchen bin as this was how he’d been used to finding his food. It really taught me not to judge anyone and to be more accepting of others.”
Now married with three children of her own and a step-daughter, Sasha is grateful for the experience of growing up surrounded by foster siblings. She feels it had made her a much more patient and relaxed person, able to let go of things that she sees are perhaps less important. She said: “I try and take a gentle approach to life and not let small things bother me so much. My Mum was always very patient with the foster children who stayed with us, even when they were particularly challenging or disruptive and I’m pleased that I have inherited this quality with my own children too.”
Sasha really values her childhood growing up in a fostering household and now regularly attends Foster4 Information Sessions to talk to potential foster carers answering questions about fostering and giving an insight into what it’s like to grow up in a fostering household.
Cllr Matt Smith, cabinet member for children’s services said: “The sons and daughters of our foster carers play such an important role in helping to nurture, guide and support their foster siblings, many who may not have had the best start in life.
“This campaign is a great way to say a massive thank you to them and to highlight the positive benefits that fostering can have on the sons and daughters of our foster carers which often stays with them all through their lives, as Sasha’s story illustrates.”
To read more about the brilliant contribution sons and daughters of foster carers make to fostering families go to www.foster4.co.uk/sons-and-daughters
If you are considering fostering, you can find out more at Foster4.co.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org