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3 Reasons Why We Appreciate Eastenders Covering a Fostering Storyline

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Do you watch Eastenders? For those that haven’t, let us bring you up to speed:

Whitney, Bianca’s adopted daughter, decides to foster a young person after losing her biological child. After going through a fostering assessment Whitney and her partner Zack finally have their first foster child, Ashton, come to stay with them.

Whilst fiction, the story did have some truths:


1. Whitney has had a complicated past.

Like so many of us, Whitney has had a complicated past, and yet she is still able to become a foster carer. This is absolutely as it should be. It is a fostering myth that having a complicated past, mental health issues or even being involved previously on the wrong side of the law, means you are unable to be a foster carer.

What is important is that you learn from your past experiences. Having a rich and varied past – even with some ‘wonky’ bits - can be a beneficial skill as a foster carer, enabling you to have a greater sense of empathy, strength and wisdom to draw upon.

[However, we should point out that Whitney has attempted to kill Phil and Ben Mitchell on Eastenders previously. Though we are open-minded – in real life, attempted murder may be a red flag too far to pass a fostering assessment!]


2. Whitney and Zack’s foster child has experienced trauma

Like many children in foster care, Ashton has experienced some trauma. He reacts to police sirens at one point as they remind him of his father’s altercations with police in the past.

There are many myths about children in foster care. Some people can imagine that foster children have done something wrong themselves, rather than been the victim of unfortunate circumstances or environment. Similarly, others are not prepared for children with behavioural issues. In most cases, if a young person has witnessed traumatic events, they will have traumatised behaviour. At Blue Sky, we help train our foster carers to recognise and respond to this behaviour therapeutically, so the young person can begin to deal with their trauma and learn healthy responses.


3. Whitney and Zack don’t live in a big fancy house

Whitney and Zack discover that they can’t live in a shared house if they choose to foster, so they move into a flat of their own.

To foster, all you need is a spare room in your own home [which can be rented]. People’s homes and families come in many different shapes and sizes. The most important criteria to foster is: ‘Can you be there to help support your foster child?’

Although foster children need an individual room all of their own, they certainly don’t need fancy surroundings to be in the best possible place; they just need a place where they are loved and cared for.




  • Foster Carer
  • Respite

Date published

06 January 2024

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