The Unsung Heroes: Children Raised by Foster Carers
24 October 2023
24 October 2023
We asked some of our foster carers and their birth children about their experiences, the initial concerns, and the resulting positives of opening up their family home to foster care placements.
Thanks to amazing foster carers such as Abigail, Angela, and Lorraine, we can take a closer look at the impact foster care has had on their children, as well as learn about their unique views and approaches.
24 October 2023
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Growing up in a household where foster care is an integral part of daily life offers a unique blend of care, diversity, and the transient nature of fostering. From an early age, birth children of foster carers witness firsthand the amazing transformative impact their parents have on the lives of vulnerable young people.
This unique family dynamic leaves a long-lasting positive impact on the birth children, influencing their values and giving them a more empathic perspective on themselves and others around them.
Lorraine, a highly experienced Parent and Child foster carer, has been an invaluable part of the Blue Sky Fostering family for over nine years. Her journey began with a spark of curiosity when she first heard about our Parent and Child (P&C) fostering. After several informative discussions with Blue Sky staff, Lorraine wholeheartedly committed herself to months of personalised training and learning, which culminated in her first P&C placement.
When queried about the challenges of balancing fostering with raising her own son, Lorraine shared, "We both discussed the idea before making arrangements, and we both agreed that if it became difficult for either of us, then we would stop. But he adapted remarkably well. I believe it was because we embarked on this fostering journey when he was just seven, making it easier for him to adjust. Now, at 17, he is well-acquainted with the P&C Blue Sky fostering process and welcomes new faces into our home."
"The Buddy system at Blue Sky has also helped me so much. Having another carer, you can rely on is a very comforting thing." - Lorraine
Lorraine continues to embrace P&C fostering alongside her son. Some challenges can arise, but she commends her son for his adaptability and invaluable support throughout the fostering journey. Lorraine says this positive experience is owed in part to the exceptional support system provided by Blue Sky for both carers and their birth children. According to Lorraine, this shared fostering journey with Blue Sky has not only enriched their lives individually but has also strengthened their bond as a family.
A Continuous Source of Inspiration
Lorraine's journey is a testament to the positive transformative power of foster care for the family, and her dedication showcases the profound impact it can have on both the birth child and the fostering experience as a whole.
For more information about Parent and Child fostering, please head on to our main page, which covers the subject and more.
Fostering with Blue Sky is a remarkable journey offering unique challenges. One concern that often arises on the topic of fostering with birth children is the potential disruption to the established balance within a family household, especially when young people require more focused attention.
Angela, an exceptional foster carer with us at Blue Sky Fostering, initially grappled with this concern. With her own birth children at home, she decided to wait a while before taking on full-time fostering responsibilities. Angela shares:
"I had concerns about fostering with my children still living in the house, so I waited for them to get older before taking the leap. But seeing how well my grandchildren interact with young people in placements now, it makes me wonder if that was the right decision."
The heartwarming rapport between Angela's grandchildren and the young people in foster placements has led her to reevaluate her initial decision to wait. It's a testament to the remarkable adaptability and resilience of birth children when introduced to the Blue Sky fostering environment.
Some potential foster carers delay taking placements while their children are still at home, fearing some form of disruption. However, Angela's experience highlights a profound truth: in most cases, the children of foster carers not only adjust but thrive in this environment. This journey becomes enlightening for all parties involved, strengthening family bonds and nurturing empathy.
While it is natural to have concerns about fostering with birth children in the household, we at Blue Sky have some strategies that can help navigate the journey:
If you have any questions or concerns about this area, we would be delighted to talk about it, so please contact us here.
Abigail, along with her partner John and their 17-year-old daughter, embarked on their fostering journey recently, in July. For Abigail and John, they have been wanting to foster for a long time as coming from a family where members have been fostered and adopted, fostering is remarkably close to their hearts.
Abigail emphasised, "Don't discount it because there is a lot of support for birth children as well as carers here at Blue Sky."
This sentiment speaks volumes about the comprehensive support system that we at Blue Sky provide for all our carers and their families.
Their decision to foster was rooted in waiting for the right moment for their daughter. A chance meeting with one of our amazing TLC (Therapeutically Led Care) foster carers, Sarah, proved to be a turning point for them. Sarah, who had helped fit their daughter with her prom dress, shared insights about her fostering journey with Blue Sky and the robust support available throughout the entire process. This conversation was the catalyst that led to inquiry and brought them to where they are today.
Addressing concerns about fostering, Abigail acknowledged the weight the decision has for the entire household. Yet she wholeheartedly affirms, "But don't discount it." The training and unwavering support from Blue Sky played a pivotal role in helping guide both Abigail and her daughter through this transformative journey.
The reassurance of knowing there is always someone available to assist the family has been a source of comfort for them. Together, they eagerly anticipate their first young person in TLC placement, cherishing every step that has led them to this moment.
The story of Abigail and her family is a testament to the inclusive support that Blue Sky offers. It underlines that, regardless of one's role within the fostering family, be it carer or birth child, there is an extensive and supportive network in place to help guide and empower each member.
If you are interested in Blue Sky’s TLC fostering, then please see our dedicated page going into more detail.
For more information on fostering with birth children please head to The Fostering Network page.