Sons and daughters rewarded for crucial fostering role
31 October, 2016
Children of foster carers across Bridgend County Borough are being recognised for their role in welcoming vulnerable children into their homes.
As part of Sons and Daughters Month (1-31 October), Bridgend County Borough Council demonstrated their appreciation by taking them to Jump Jam Trampoline Park, Bridgend.
The Fostering Network’s annual campaign runs each October to celebrate the vital contribution which the children of foster carers make to successful foster care. This year’s theme is #ProudToFoster.
The role of being a son or daughter in a fostering family is not always an easy one - however one of the things the children and young people who have grown up in fostering families say is that despite the challenges, they're #ProudToFoster.
Katie Phelps, aged 12 and a daughter of Bridgend County Borough foster carers said: “I really like the fact that we foster. I enjoy helping other children who haven’t been as fortunate as me and my sister. It’s nice to see that we are making a real difference in their lives. When you make a child smile, laugh or they hug you for the first time, it’s so rewarding.”
Research from The Fostering Network shows that the relationship between the sons and daughters of foster carers, and foster children, can make or break a placement, which demonstrates the vital role they place in a family that fosters.
Katie’s mum, Tracy Phelps, a foster carer of five years: “It was my decision to become a foster carer, but without the support of the girls it wouldn’t have been possible.
“We are so proud of how well our children have taken to fostering. They have opened their hearts and their home to children and have shared their mum and dad! Without their help the experience would be a lot harder. Fostering has definitely brought out the best qualities in them and they have provided no end of support.”
Every year, Bridgend County Borough Council supports the annual campaign by celebrating and rewarding the efforts of the sons and daughters.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services and Equalities, Councillor Hailey Townsend, said: “Every year we support The Fostering Network’s national campaign as we feel sons and daughters should be recognised and rewarded for the important role they play welcoming fostered children in to their families.
“It is important to remember that it is the whole family who fosters. Sons and daughters play a vital role in helping foster children settle into a new home, as well as provide crucial support to these vulnerable children.
“The event at Jump Jam was a way to thank the children for the support and understanding that they show to their foster siblings and their parents. It was also a great opportunity for sons and daughters to meet one another.”
Bridgend Foster Care provides foster carers with professional training and a chance to gain qualifications, as well as constant support from a qualified and experienced team. In addition, an allowance is available to help with financial costs and regular opportunities are available to meet with other carers to share best practice and experiences.
For more information on fostering, please call Bridgend Foster Care on (01656) 642674 or visit www.bridgendfostercare.wales.