Being A Foster Child
Being A Foster Child
David Holmes (Chief Executive) gives expert video advice on: Do the social services provide support to the foster child?; If I am fostered, will I see my parents again?; What does a child do if they don't want to be fostered? and more...
Do the social services provide support to the foster child?
Yes. The child will have their own social worker just as the foster carer will have their own social worker too.
If I am fostered, will I see my parents again?
Most children in foster care go home.
What does a child do if they don't want to be fostered?
I think in those circumstances, what will happen is that there will need to be a really deep conversation with the child about what is behind that. The child may have to come into care because of terrible things that have happened in their own families. Often that can be really difficult for children to come to terms with. Often the child may be really confused and so that might be part of the conversation that is needed. A child may not want to go into foster care because they don't want anyone to replace their own parents and so that may need a really careful conversation with the child about the fact that it may only be for a short period of time, it may be for a very specific purpose, and to reassure them what foster care is about and the fact that people who are foster carers want to be there to help and support the children concerned. I think that sort of response from the child just really demonstrates the need to sit down and talk to them about what they are feeling and what that is about.
What does a child do if they don't like their foster parents?
If they're not getting on with their foster carers, then what they must do is talk to their social worker, talk to anyone and say, 'look this isn't working', and explain why. The last thing we want is for children to just sort of suffer in silence. In those circumstances a social worker would want to talk really carefully to the child and find out what's happening. And then talk to the foster carer. Of course, if the child is really unhappy and that's for very good reasons, of course the child would be removed. But again, you really need to understand what that unhappiness is about, and what's happening.
What will the child know about the foster carer before they meet?
Well, it's really good practice to give the child some information. I mean, just imagine going and turning up at somebody's doorstep and not really knowing who's going to open the door. That must be incredibly frightening, so it's great if you can give the child an advance picture of the foster carer, maybe some information about their house, maybe some information about the bedroom they're going to have. You know, some information about their likes and dislikes and their family and that sort of thing. It just helps the child to adjust better, and, equally, the foster carer needs information about the child, too, so they can recognize the child and know a little bit about them and what they like and what they don't like. It's just helps for a much easier start.
Why should people foster?
People should foster, because there are lots of children coming into our care system every day, every year, who desperately need people who can look after them. We're looking for really high-quality, warm, caring people who enjoy working with children and who really want to support and help children who may have had really difficult starts to their lives. So we need skilled people who understand that fostering is a wonderful thing to do.