As we celebrate Black History Month and recognise the outstanding contribution and achievement people of African and Caribbean descent, often against adversity and challenges, it makes me proud that October is also the month whereby we recognise and celebrate the sons and daughters of our foster carers.
The children of Slough Children First foster carers play a pivotal part in the success of fostering. Whilst the experience of being part of a fostering family is largely positive and rewarding, our foster carer’s children can also face challenges. For example, each time a fostered child leaves or joins the household, the composition of the family changes and they have to adjust and renegotiate their role within the family. The ending of a placement can be particularly difficult and can be experienced as a major loss with all of the associated grieving.
It makes me proud that foster carer’s children embrace fostering with its rewards and challenges.
It makes me proud to witness their kindness to less fortunate children and accept and embrace diversity and difference.
It makes me proud to see them gain friendships and develop skills such as empathy, confidence and resilience.
It makes me proud when they share that they enjoy looked-after children being a part of their family because they, “just like to help,” “like having conversations and having a joke with them,” or like to “play games like Minecraft or just to hang out with them.”
It makes me proud that Kids Care 2!
Kids Care 2! Is a support group for the Independent Fostering Agency’s carers’ sons and daughters. It is a forum which enables children to share their experiences and gain support from other children living in a fostering or short-break care household.
It makes me proud that I can give them the support they need and it’s a bonus when they provide feedback that simply says: “I like Jackie.”
Jackie Ward is a Supervising Social Worker within Slough Children First’s Independent Fostering Agency and the Liaison Worker for the Mockingbird Family Model.