As part of the Fostering Network’s national ‘Sons and Daughter’s Month’, Plymouth City Council is highlighting the valuable role the sons and daughters of foster carers play.
Councillor Jemima Laing Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “The sons and daughters of foster carers are vital parts of a fostering household. Many people thinking about fostering are concerned about the potential impact on their own children, and our sons and daughters are testament to the positive impact growing up with parents who foster can have.
“While sharing their parents, home and things with children and young people they don’t know can be tricky at times, the reality is that we frequently hear from foster carers that their sons and daughters benefit hugely themselves. Seeing life from other children’s perspectives can give them a real depth of enriching life experiences.”
Fostering is a whole family approach and for most sons and daughters of foster carers, their relationships with fostered children have many positive aspects. They gain companionship, friendship and a sense of self-worth in sharing their homes and themselves with children who need them. Some report enjoying helping to look after a baby or toddler, or the attention of an older young person whom their family is fostering.
Joe’s parents started fostering for Plymouth City Council when he was young. He said: “Our parents fostering has been able to teach our foster children, that children don’t always get to stay with their mummy’s and daddy’s. It has helped children know that they are very loved by the people they are with and we are able to share our love with children who may not have had that. Fostering is such a positive, inspiring thing to do. It helps so many children who are a little less fortunate and to see them grow is incredible.”
Councillor Laing added: “The sons and daughters of our foster carers really are unsung heroes and we want each and every child who grows up as part of a fostering family to know just how important they are. To celebrate the contribution they make to fostering we will be lighting Smeaton’s Tower green during the month of October.”
There are currently 450 children and young people in care and there is an on-going campaign to recruit more foster carers.
When a child cannot be cared for by their birth parent(s), the Council’s first priority is for them to be looked after by a local authority foster carer, as they often live in the area near to a child’s family, friends and school so it is less disruptive for a child.
Fostering is a way to make a really positive difference to a child’s life, providing children and young people with a stable and loving home and the support and encouragement they need to flourish and do well. Fostering for Plymouth City Council also offers full training, support and the opportunity to learn new skills.
Anyone who would like details on how to become a foster carer is asked to contact the Councils Fostering Recruitment Team on 01752 305175.