Families who already have children are being encouraged to explore how fostering can fit into their lives.
This month is Children of Foster Carers Month, which aims to raise awareness of the role of children of foster carers and recognise their contribution to supporting children in care.
Ellie, her husband Tom and two children are currently fostering an 18-month-old baby with Leicestershire County Council.
They’ve opened-up about their experiences of welcoming a foster child to their family.
Ellie said “We explained fostering to our children using age-appropriate language. We talk to them constantly and we remind them that they and the child are important to us.
“We also involved the children in the whole process; they love having a foster brother to play with. It’s a really positive experience for the whole family.
“We all get excited by the baby’s milestones and that’s lovely to share. It’s a personal decision, but if you’re thinking about it, it’s probably likely it’ll be right for you.”
Her birth daughter Imogen (10), added: It’s strange at first, but it’s quite fun. It is sad when foster children leave, but it’s not all bad, most of the time we see them again. I love to play with my foster brother.
“He makes us laugh because he likes watching the washing machine. He also loves posting things!”
Birth children of foster carers can make a massive difference to children and young people in care.
We know that for some families, the potential impact on their children is a barrier to becoming a foster carer. However, the reality is that many children benefit from being part of the support network offered by a fostering family to a child they are looking after.
We also know they can really help a child or young person settle into family life, helping them to feel welcome and loved. They do an amazing job and we’d like to thank them for wonderful the support and care they offer.
Person:Councillor Deborah Taylor, lead member for children and families
If you would like to explore how fostering would fit into your family, then you’re welcome to attend one of the council’s virtual ‘Find out about fostering’ events.
They are on the evenings of Wednesday 1 November, Thursday 23 November and Tuesday 12 December.
Lines are open until 8pm on Tuesday and Thursdays, and on the first Saturday of the month 10-12 noon.