Stella, Richard and their children Xenan (24) and Venus (18) have been fostering for seven years. Xenan was 17, almost 18, when they were approved to foster, and Venus was almost 12. The family had their first placement the day before Venus began secondary school. We asked Xenan and Venus what fostering has been like for them, and we asked Stella and Richard about the impact fostering has had on their children.
Two-thirds of councils in England have a shortage of Black, Asian and minority ethnic foster carers. In Brighton & Hove, as more children from ethnic backgrounds come into care, the Council are urging people from Black, Asian and mixed-race communities to consider becoming foster carers. Identity is important for all children, but it is particularly crucial for Black, Asian and minority ethnic children placed in foster care to grow up understanding their roots and their culture.
We know that the decision to become a foster carer can take years, and a lot of careful thought, consideration and research. There are many different types of fostering that foster carers can choose to consider; short-term or long-term, ranging from a few days, weeks, months or even years. Children may need foster care from the moment they are born, and some children stay in care up to the age of 18 and beyond. Some children may return to their birth families, others may be supported through continued fostering until they are ready to live independently, and some may move onto adoption.
The sons and daughters of foster carers play a vital role in fostering; they contribute hugely towards the success of fostering placements and make a valuable difference to fostered siblings as they settle into their new home.
Isobella, who is 14 years old has been fostering with her younger twin sisters, mum Liz and mum’s partner Caroline for three years. During this time, the family have welcomed two children into their home, the first for nine months and the second for 18 months - both little girls under four years of age.
What is parent and child fostering?
A parent and child foster placement is a specialist type of fostering where a parent and child live with a foster carer(s). The parent will receive help and advice to safely care for their child, enabling the parent and child to stay together and to develop a strong relationship at a crucial developmental stage.