Will fostering affect my children?
Fostering can be a great way of enhancing family life for those who already have children.
This is supported by statistics from the Fostering Network, which state that 84% of foster carers had children of their own when they were approved.
A family decision
Fostering involves everyone in the family. It is vital that your children play a key role in the decision to foster and that you take plenty of time to discuss what it will mean for them.
From the initial decision to foster, to welcoming children and young people into their home, the children of foster carers play an integral role in the whole experience. They can play a big part in helping others to settle in their family home and can often form lasting relationships.
Taking time to listen
We will be keen to take time to listen to your children, from the first time we visit you. It is important they can talk to us independently, tell us how they feel and discuss whether they support your decision to foster.
We provide a guide for all children and young people and their families. This gives you all the information you need about fostering with Swiis, the service we offer and useful contact numbers. We have worked closely with children and young people to develop two dedicated guides for families choosing to foster – one specifically for teenagers and one for younger children.
An extended network
We are currently piloting dedicated support groups for children and young people.
“Forward Together” was set up by colleagues in the North West and is made up of young people in Swiis foster placements. The group meets regularly to share experiences and talk about issues that affect young people in their situation.
Also based in the North, the ‘Caring Crew’ is a group of foster carers’ own children who meet up regularly to talk about their experience as a ‘child that fosters’. These are great examples of sharing understanding and best practice, and we hope these will become active across the country.
Swiis also offers programmes providing guidance, skills development and training for young people, who can gain qualifications, attend workshops and a range of courses, including first aid, cooking, diet, sexual health awareness and staying safe.
“Swiis has developed creative and innovative ways in which to promote and encourage communication with children and young people of different ages and abilities.”
Edgbaston Ofsted Report, 2011.