Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 25 October 2023
LEICESTERSHIRE County Council are encouraging families who already have children to consider fostering, as October officially marks ‘Children of Foster Carers Month’.
‘Children of Foster Carers Month’ aims to raise awareness of the role of children of foster carers, and recognise their contribution to supporting children in care.
To highlight the month further, the council have shone the spotlight on a local family who are currently in the process of fostering an 18-month-old baby thanks the authority. That is Ellie, her husband Tom, and their two children.
Speaking on their experience of fostering together as a family, Ellie said: “We explained fostering to our children using age-appropriate language. We talk to them constantly and we remind them that they and the child are important to us.
“We also involved the children in the whole process; they love having a foster brother to play with. It’s a really positive experience for the whole family.
“We all get excited by the baby’s milestones and that’s lovely to share. It’s a personal decision, but if you’re thinking about it, it’s probably likely it’ll be right for you.”
Her birth daughter Imogen, aged 10, added: “It is strange at first – but it’s quite fun. It is sad when foster children leave, but it’s not all bad, most of the time we see them again. I love to play with my foster brother. He makes us laugh because he likes watching the washing machine. He also loves posting things!”
Coun. Deborah Taylor, the council’s lead member for children and families, said: “Birth children of foster carers can make a massive difference to children and young people in care.
“We know that for some families, the potential impact on their children is a barrier to becoming a foster carer. However, the reality is that many children benefit from being part of the support network offered by a fostering family to a child they are looking after.
“We also know they can really help a child or young person settle into family life, helping them to feel welcome and loved. They do an amazing job and we’d like to thank them for wonderful the support and care they offer.”
Those interested to see how fostering would fit into their families are being invited to join the council’s online ‘Find out about fostering’ events.
They will be held on the evenings of Wednesday, 1 November, Thursday, 23 November and Tuesday, 12 December.
Phone lines are open until 8pm on Tuesday and Thursdays, and on the first Saturday of the month, from 10am to 12pm.