You know your own children well and know how best to support them. However, this is just a few thoughts and reminders about how best to support your sons and daughters in your role as a family who fosters.
Placement beginnings – it is really important that your sons and daughters have a chance to have their say about children who may come and stay with you. Sometimes if placements are made in an emergency, this can be difficult. However, having discussions with them about the type of child who may come would help in these situations.
Information about the child – although confidentiality must be kept, it may be important to share some basic information with sons and daughters, particularly if there are implications for safe caring. Make sure your child is equipped to appropriately answer questions from their friends and peers about new children in your household.
Reviews – it is really important that sons and daughters have a chance to have a say during your annual review. Your Placement Manager will provide them with a feedback form and will talk to them also about their experiences and offer support.
Placement Endings – it can be very difficult for sons and daughters when children move on, particularly when this is unexpectedly. It is important that you discuss this with your child – your Placement Manager can also offer support, if you feel that would be helpful.
Space as a family – it is important to use any opportunity to gain individual time with sons and daughters as well as fostered children. If you are finding this hard to balance, please speak to your Placement Manager.
Support – ensure that your children are fully informed of the support that is on offer to them, through fostering friends, from your Placement Manager and from other people at AFA. It is good if you can encourage your sons and daughters to contribute to support groups or take part in other events or networking opportunities for sons and daughters. However, we want to stress that receiving support and engaging in these activities and groups is not compulsory – it’s there if they wish to use it.
Shaping AFA – We run a children consultation group three times a year and we have several sons and daughters in this group, who help to bring about changes in the approach that we have to services. If your child is interested in taking part, please speak to your Placement Manager.