October is Sons and Daughters Month. We want to take this moment to recognise the vital contribution the children of foster carers make in welcoming fostered children into their homes.
During Sons and Daughters Month, all fostering services across the UK have been celebrating the valuable role children play in ensuring successful fostering placements.
Many people say that the potential impact on their birth children is one of the major barriers to becoming a foster carer. However, as our foster families confirm being part of a fostering family is a wonderful and rewarding experience.
Japhet whose parents have just started fostering, said that he feels he can be someone his foster-brother can relate to, while Vashisht and Sara both spoke fondly of the support network available to families and the enduring friendships they have made. Meanwhile sisters Meriem, Hadjer and Somaya are incredibly excited to have a young baby enter their home.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Achilleas Georgiou, said: “The sons and daughters of foster carers play an important role in making successful fostering placements. Their contribution is valued highly by Enfield Council’s fostering services and we’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you. If you have considered welcoming a child into your home but are concerned about the impact it will have on your family, come and speak to our team who can talk you through the process.”
Browse the additional pages on our website for more information about becoming a foster carer. Enfield Council also produces a newsletter on education and children’s services. To subscribe, click here
We have been carers for nearly 18 years and fostered 18 children in that time, some for only a matter of days and others for longer. We have cared for children from birth to ten years old and currently have one child living with us along with four of our six children.
We started considering fostering when Sharon wanted a change of career from banking but still wanted to be at home and around for our own children. Our youngest was three years old when we were approved and took our first placement. We had a friend who was a foster carer, which set the seed of an idea, and whilst already being active in our local community, running a local sports club and being a school governor, we approached Enfield Council to enquire about fostering.
The process was fairly straight forward and very interesting. An initial meeting, some training to start to prepare us for what was to come and then an assessment where we took a look at us as individuals and a family to understand how we could support the children in our care. This was supported by our own dedicated social worker who took us through the process and whilst our own social workers have changed over the years, our social worker is a person who we can talk to and get support from whenever we need it. We can also get guidance and help from the diverse group of fosters carers in Enfield, directly or via regular support groups.
Fostering can be challenging however the rewards far outweigh any difficulties that may be encountered. Seeing the difference in a child that will not have not had the best start and knowing you have helped make that change and set a new course for the child is priceless.
We are committed to fostering as a family; our children, family and friends all play a part to improve the lives of the children we care for. We have also made some amazing friends on our journey so far.
We are using our experience to support Enfield Council’s fostering team to set up some introduction sessions in our home where people we know can pop along on an informal basis to get more information. It will be a great opportunity to ask us and our supporting social worker any questions to help them take that first step towards an amazing opportunity to give children in need a better future.
Enfield Council foster carers go above and beyond to give children and young people a safe and secure home, making a big difference to their lives. As foster carers Phil and Sally explain:
“We do not have children of our own, so it seemed natural for us to become foster carers so that we could help lots of young people by giving them a secure and loving home and being their advocate.
“We have been foster carers for just over a year now. During this time we have seen several foster children stay with us. We take children aged from birth to 18, and whilst some placements may be for a short time, for example to give a parent respite, some children stay long term as they cannot return to their families.
“Being a foster carer does present some challenges, but it is immensely rewarding. The hardest part is letting them go.
“You take a little person into your life, and you help mend them and set them on the road to adulthood feeling loved and valued.”
“In the relatively short time we have fostered we can see how foster care doesn’t just transform the lives of children and young people – it also enhances the lives of foster carers and their families too.”
“It would be great if more people would consider becoming foster carers with Enfield Council, the support we have received from social services is excellent, and our application was brilliantly handled.”
Enfield Council needs to recruit more foster carers who can help bring a sense of family and belonging to vulnerable children and young people, so please contact Enfield Council’s fostering team today and help transform the life of a young person.