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commonly asked questions: the effects of fostering on your own children

We have many enquiries from people who have their own children living at home. Understandably, they are worried, sometimes anxious about the effects becoming a foster family will have on them, no matter their age.

Below are questions that we often get asked in relation to applicants own children. Hopefully the answers will help alleviate any worries that you might have.

what support is there for my birth child/ren?

When you are approved as a foster carer, you are allocated a dedicated supervising social worker who is there to not only support you but also your child/ren. They can direct you to a variety of useful resources.

Your own children are also involved in the assessment which allows us to find out whether that they are comfortable with becoming a foster family and to ensure that they are aware of what it all entails.

We have a support group for the younger sons and daughters where 4/5 times a year, the team take them out to places such as Clyne Farm, Limitless, Buzz and Cinema & Co. It is a chance for us to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements and the crucial role they play in a fostering family. However, it’s also an opportunity for them to meet other sons and daughters who are also in the unique position of understanding what it’s like being part of a fostering family.

how will it affect my own children?

It is natural for you to worry about how fostering will affect your own children but they are also included in the fostering assessment. The assessing social worker can find out if they are happy to become a foster family and if they are ready to.

Naturally, the dynamic in your home will change when a foster child comes to live with you. Your children will have to share their home with someone else. However, through the assessment process and pre-approval training, you’ll understand the potential changes you might need to make and we’ll ensure that you and your children are prepared as much as you can be.

Becoming a foster sibling can be so beneficial to your own children. Our foster carers often tell us how positive fostering has been for their own children, especially in terms of their development but also in terms of compassion and empathy.

It has made them understand and appreciate things more. They gain companionship, friendship and a sense of self-worth as they transition to sharing their homes and family with children who need them.

We have over 60 foster carers who have their own children living with them. During your assessment, we can put you in touch with one of our foster carers who can offer you support and advice. You are never alone.

If at any time you feel that your own child/ren need support that we can provide this for them. We make time to talk to your own children and hear from them as part of the supervisions and annual reviews that foster carers have. This is to ensure that they continue to feel happy and comfortable with fostering.

can we foster children younger than our own?

Yes! During your assessment, your assessing social worker will discuss this with you and your family. They will work out where your skills and abilities lie and what age range might suit your family best.

We usually say that caring for younger children than your own is better but it’s all down to individual circumstances as well as the needs of the children looked after and that of your own children. That’s why good matching is key.

Most foster carers are approved for children aged 0-18 years but with a preference of an age range.

can our own children share a bedroom?

If your own children currently have their own bedrooms but you would like them to share one to create the spare room, then we wouldn’t be able to support this.

We do not encourage families to change their own arrangements to be able to foster. However, if your own children are currently sharing a bedroom and there is a spare room, the appropriateness would need to be further explored in the future as the children grow.

can my own children and foster children share a bedroom?

No, they are not allowed to share a bedroom. Your own children and the children that you foster must have separate rooms.

If you foster a sibling group they are allowed to share a bedroom, but only if they are under the age of eight and different genders.

Older siblings of the same gender can share if they want / able to. For children in long term placement, we would want there to be the option for siblings to have their own bedrooms as they grow older.

get in touch

If you can open your door to a local child or young person and offer them a safe and loving home, then please get in touch for more information or to make an enquiry.

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