Lorimers Advice for Birth Children
When a family starts fostering it has an impact on everyone in the family. While it can be a hugely inspiring and happy time, it also comes with a number of sacrifices and difficulties that every member of the family will have to overcome and adjust to.
As we are celebrating Sons and Daughters month alongside The Fostering Network this month, we have popped together some information and advice for all of the caring and brave birth children that are part of our loving foster families.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
First and foremost, you should always feel that you can ask questions and be open about your feelings when your family welcomes a foster child into your family home. If you bottle up your feelings and don’t ask questions, you can start to feel isolated and lonely in your own home – which nobody wants.
Adjusting to Big Changes
Having a new person come to stay with your family will mean a lot of changes for you. Some of these will be good, but some you may not be happy about it at first. As noted above, it’s important that you speak about which changes you are finding difficult so that your family can help you adjust. Remember that while you make not like some of the changes straight away, your family is doing an amazing thing for a young person in your community, so the sacrifices you are making are very important.
This can be one of the most difficult things that a lot of children in care struggle with. Not only will you have to share not just your toys, gadgets and belongings, but also your parents, family and possibly your friends. This can be understandably difficult. Sometimes children that your family foster can demand a lot of attention, which can leave you feeling a bit left out or forgotten about. If this is the case, speak to your parents and family about it. They won’t be making you feel this way intentionally, it’s important to remember that just because your parents are spending a lot of time looking after another child doesn’t mean that they care about you any less!
Share your home with another person is a huge change. Sometimes the foster children in your families care may take your things without asking or invade your space, which can be very frustrating. It’s understandable that this could make you upset angry, but sharing is part of fostering.
Try to remember that the child your family is caring for may have had a difficult past, and may not be used to sharing possessions, or having possessions in the first place.
If it is really making you upset, you may want to ask your parents if you can have a cupboard with a lock that you can keep the things that are really important to you in.
Rules & Behaviour
There may be changes to your house rules when your foster sibling moves in. This is because, as foster carers, your parents will probably be dealing with a child that is not used to following rules. it’s important that you set a good example to the children living with your family, to make them adjust to your families way of life as easily as possible. It can also be difficult to deal the way the children or young people being fostered behave in a way that they wouldn’t. If a foster child is rude to your parent/s it can be very hard to not say anything.
It can also be difficult to deal the way the children or young people being fostered behave, especailly when it’s in a way that you feel they wouldn’t.
Say for example a foster child is rude to your parents, it can be very difficult to not say anything. If you do feel yourself getting irritated or worked up, it can help if you simply leave room to calm down. It might help to remember that this behaviour is sometimes a result of fostered children being upset or frustrated about being
Again, it’s important to to remember that this behaviour is sometimes a result of fostered children being upset or frustrated about being away from their own family- and you are finding things difficult to cope with, you should talk to someone. Also if you feel uncomfortable about the way someone acts or talks around you, you should tell your parents.
School & Bullying
If a child who is fostered by your family comes to your school you may be asked questions about them, such as who they are and why they are staying with your family. It is important to speak to your parents about what you should say. Sometimes it will be easier just to say that you can’t or don’t want to talk about it.
If you think that a child that your family is fostering is being bullied or is bullying someone else, it’s very important that you tell someone. It’s probably best not to get involved, but instead speak to your parent’s or a teacher at your school who you trust. There should be a teacher at your school who will know that the child is fostered and who will be responsible for supporting them at school.
Remember that you can have a real impact of the life of a young person that your family is fostering. If you do ever feel upset, frustrated or angry about the situation, try and put yourself in their shoes. They may be feeling very scared, alone or frustrated themselves. You should try and be a friend to your foster sibling as best you can.
Sons and Daughters Month is all about saying thank you to you – the birth children of foster families around the UK. Thank you for your patience, kindness and love, and for accepting these young vulnerable children into your lives. You are making a difference every day!