Our foster child says: “Having Rules makes me feel safe”
Jessica and I have been together for about seven years. We share our home with our son, foster child Chloe, two dogs, two cats and a few chickens. We started to go through the process to foster quite soon after we moved in together. It was something I had always wanted to do and Jessica was supportive of this. We have now been fostering for about six and a half years, in which time we have fostered four children, one of which is still with us.
Fostering is a positive experience, although there are challenges along the way and as a foster carer you do need to be resilient. The most challenging time for us is when you have a new placement as there are lots of interesting dynamics going on with Everyone trying to establish their place in the family. I also think this is a feel-good time as you are able to provide a different experience for those children coming in to your care. We found that the most important thing to remember in the first few weeks, is that you need to balance introducing clear expectations and boundaries, whilst being sensitive and mindful of the child’s change of circumstances. At first we were nervous of having too many rules, but Chloe said: “having rules makes me feel safe.”
Being a foster carer is a rewarding experience. It is great to share good times, going to places of interest and having fun with children who have not had days out before. Places that we take for granted that provide new experiences and memories, which stay with children for lifetimes. It is good to see children being able to leave the stress of their lives behind and just be kids having fun.
If you are considering becoming a foster carer, please take the plunge, there are lots of young people out there who need someone like you to support them. There are many ways you can do this, as there are different types of fostering. The Fostering service needs a diverse group of foster carers who are able to support young people with their own individual needs. Don’t be afraid of making the initial call or sending that email! The fostering team are really welcoming and will help anyone wanting to be a foster carer to go through the process, answering any questions you may have along the way.
Jessica & Lilly