The children of parents who foster with Essex County Council are being celebrated as part of the National Fostering Network’s Sons and Daughters month.
It is widely recognised that foster parents with Essex County Council have changed the lives of thousands of children across the county. But often the children of foster parents are unheralded for the invaluable role they play in welcoming new children into their home.
This half-term holiday these incredible children from all over Essex are invited to attend a special event to thank them for the very important role they play in welcoming foster children into their families.
The sons and daughters of foster families with Essex County Council will be treated to a range of activities, including aerial trekking, mountain biking, low ropes, problem solving and an obstacle course.
Many people thinking about fostering are concerned about the potential impact on their own children, and this can act as a barrier to becoming a foster carer. But here at Essex County Council we frequently hear from foster carers that their sons and daughters benefit hugely from being part of the support network offered to a fostering family.
One such case is Ellie Carlin, now 19, whose parents started fostering when she was five.
Ellie said: “I understood mum and dad were doing an amazing thing. It was like having another brother or sister, they felt part of the family.”
She said fostering as a family from such a young age meant she ‘always had someone to play with’.
“I was very sad when the children left, but I got used to it and it became easier. I was able to enjoy being a fostering family because mum and dad were so open and honest, always answering my questions and they made time for me.”
Ellie added: “It’s one of the most amazing jobs in the world. I tell everyone what my mum and dad do, I’m so proud of them.”
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “We want to recognise, thank and reward these incredible children and young people for the very important role they play in welcoming fostered children into their families and to also meet other children and young people from around the county.
“Seeing life from another’s perspective can be an enriching experience and can help a child learn and develop as an individual. There are many skills and lessons that can be learnt from growing up in a fostering household.”
Essex County Council offers high-quality bespoke local training for foster parents and support groups for the whole family, providing an opportunity for carers and their children to meet and talk to others in a similar situation and many go on to make long-term friendships.
Foster carers are needed on a full and part-time basis for either short or long-term placements and they can be single, married, from a same sex family or retired.Find out about some of the children you could help, call 0800 801 530, visit www.essexadoptionandfostering.co.uk/fostering.