10 November 2016

Fostering – it can be great for your own children as well!

Foster carers make an amazing difference to the lives of children who have had a difficult start in life. But not everyone realises that being a foster carer can also be really good for your own children as well.

You can find out more about fostering and the positive effect it can have on your own children at an event on Saturday 12 November from 10am to 11.30am at the Shoreham Centre, 2 Pond Road, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5WU.

The event has been organised by Brighton & Hove City Council’s fostering team.

Sebastian and Charlie have a mum who fosters a two-year old girl. They love having another child in the house.

Sebastian, aged 8, says: “It’s great having a foster sister because we sing songs together like You Are My Sunshine and Olly Murs stuff.

“She’s got a toy kitchen as well and we make breakfast and tea and we do hula-hooping in the garden. And I like reading books with her – we’re doing James and the Giant Peach.”

Charlie, aged 13, says: “I like helping her with her speech. It’s nice just having a little girl around and seeing the way she has settled in and changed.

“I also like the events our social workers organise for birth children like us during the holidays. At half-term they took us climbing at Out of Bounds in Angmering and we went out for lunch as well.”

Click here to listen to Sebastian and Charlie talking about having a foster sister.

The council’s fostering manager, Clare Smith, said: “Lots of our carers tell us that having a foster child in the house has been really good for their own children.

“We put a lot of support into making sure our foster carers are able to keep their focus on their birth children as well as their foster children.

“It often works best when foster children are in a different age range to the birth children. Older children like Sebastian and Charlie often like having a much younger child in the house.

“During the assessment period before people become foster carers we sit down separately with their birth children to make sure they understand what is going to happen and to make sure they are happy with it.

“We offer our foster carers 24-7 support. There is always someone you can call.

“Our foster carers also really support each other. People who have been there and done it are always ready with help and advice.”

If you can’t make it to the information event but would like to know more about fostering please:

  • phone the council’s fostering team for a friendly chat on (01273) 295444
  • email fostering@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/fostering

Almost anyone can be a foster carer. You can be single or in a relationship, old or young, straight or gay. You can be renting or a home-owner.

All you need is a spare room and some experience of working with or looking after children. You also need to live within roughly a 20-mile radius of Brighton and Hove.

Financial allowances of up to £1,400 per month are available for every child or young person you foster.