the story of

alfie & rosie

“Fostering has truly been life changing, not only for the children who come to live with us, but for me as well.”

Children of foster carers, whether they still live at home, or are adults themselves, play a key role in a fostering household. They help create welcoming and loving families for foster children.

Many people think about fostering but a common worry of those with their own children living at home is how it will impact on them. Understandably, it can be unsettling to have a new child be brought into the home, or for the family dynamics to suddenly change.

Nearly 50% of Foster Wales Swansea’s carers have their own children still living at home and their presence can make a real difference to foster children, helping them to settle into their new home.

Whilst they have to share their family and home, as well as sometimes cope with difficult behaviours, many of our carers’ own children say that they enjoy fostering and have experienced several benefits.

Fostering promotes invaluable life skills to children and young people that can be more difficult to replicate anywhere else, such as compassion, empathy, and kindness to others in need.

When children arrive at the house for the very first time, it is foster carers’ own children who lead the way by showing them round the house, and explaining where everything is kept, including the all-important biscuit tin! It is also the carers’ own children who play football, endless games of hide-and-seek, or anything else that the new arrival would like to play or do to help them settle in and feel welcome.

The incredible kindness of carers’ own children makes such a positive and powerful difference, as it creates and promotes the important relationships and strong bonds to blossom between everyone in the fostering family, which is priceless!   

Alongside their parents, Rosie (11) and Alfie (13) Hyett-Evans, have been fostering for over four years. They cite fostering as being life changing and enjoy being able to make a difference to children’s lives.

so, what do you really think about being part of a fostering family?

Rosie: “We get to give other children an opportunity to be safe and happy and they get a chance to live a happy life, which every child should get. You get to meet other children and be a good role model to them, plus you get to have lots of fun. I like that my family fosters and helps children, we get to be a part of making a difference to children’s lives.” 

Alfie: “My thoughts on being in a fostering family are all very positive. I like the fact that I know me and my family are helping multiple children in need of a safe place to stay. I like fostering because I make relationships with other children that I know will stay with me forever. Fostering has truly been life changing, not only for the children who come to live with us, but for me as well.”

but surely there are drawbacks and challenges to fostering?

Rosie: When children leave, I find it hard, especially when we have built a good relationship with them, but I’m also happy for them because they are moving on to a new family.”  

Alfie – Although I love fostering there are also some aspects I find challenging. I do get very attached to the children that come to our family and when it’s time for them to leave, I often get emotional. I am happy for the children who get to start a new chapter in their lives but sometimes wish they didn’t have to leave. Our family are still in contact with the children who have lived with us, I still get to see them which I am grateful for.”

Foster carers’ own children help to create positive memories for the children who come to live with them, no matter how short a time they are there.

so, what are alfie and rosie’s best memory of fostering so far?

Rosie: “The first Christmas we had as a fostering family was the best. It made me so happy seeing my foster brother so happy and excited. It made that Christmas very special.”

Alfie: “My best memory has been going to Chessington World of Adventures. I can still remember the smile on my foster brother’s face when he went on a ride for the first time. It made me enjoy that trip more seeing him having so much fun. We have been to Chessington a few times since and we always have so much fun there. I like that I’m able to create memories with my foster brother but I also like that I am part of his memories too.”

Currently, more foster carers are needed to ensure that we can find the right fostering family for any child or young person who is in need of a safe and loving home. Alfie and Rosie understand the importance for more people to come forward to foster.

Rosie: “If not enough people come forward to foster it will mean children won’t have safe places to stay. I feel lucky that I have a safe home to live in and I think every child deserves the same as me. All children deserve to be happy and have a warm home, food to eat, a bed to sleep in and a family they can have fun with.” 

Alfie -I think it’s important for more people to foster as there are children who need grown-ups to help them keep safe. Every child deserves to have the opportunity to be the best they can be. It must be so scary to leave your family and go to live with a stranger, but you could be that stranger who becomes that child’s voice, the child’s safe place and teach them that the world isn’t that scary. If you have space in your home and love to give, I think you should try it. I feel proud that we are able to help other children, even if it means I have to share my mum and dad. 

so, the million-dollar question is, would rosie and alfie recommend fostering to others?

so, the million-dollar question is, would rosie and alfie recommend fostering to others?

Rosie: “Absolutely! You get to help keep children safe. I’m so glad my mum and dad started fostering. I have so much fun with my foster brother and I love him so much. I feel lucky that he is going to be living with me forever.”

Alfie – “In my opinion, fostering is definitely something that has been significant in my life. Fostering has given me many life-skills which school can’t give me. I definitely have more empathy and compassion for others since fostering. It has taught me to have patience and understanding to children who act differently to me. I would recommend fostering to anyone who feels passionate about helping others, I would say don’t be scared, try something new.” 

To find out more about fostering when you have your children, read our blog here.

If you’ve still got worries, or have questions you would like answered, why not contact us today for an informal, no- pressure chat. We can also arrange for you to speak to one of our foster carers about the realities of fostering when you have your own children living at home.

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