As part of Sons and Daughters month, a Yorkshire fostering agency is thanking birth children of foster parents for the important role they play within a fostering family.
Orange Grove foster care is taking part in The Fostering Network’s annual campaign, which takes place each October, to highlight and raise awareness of how vital these children and young people are to successful fostering.
As a token of their appreciation, the fostering agency is sending these children a selection of thank you cards, gift vouchers and flowers.
The team at Orange Grove have also been talking to birth children as part of the campaign, to find out more about their life as foster brothers and sisters.
Being part of a fostering family for 16 years, Emma, aged 44, has always been a regular visitor to her parents’ home who foster. “When my parents started fostering, I already had my own family but I have spent a lot of time with the children who live with them. I have found it very rewarding being part of a fostering family and have had a good bond with children that lived with my parents. It’s just like having siblings or nieces or nephews!
“It has given my daughter a big extended family and I always feel like an Auntie. There have been difficult times, but we’ve always overcome any challenges we’ve faced.
“I’ve got many wonderful memories from over the years, such as going to Scotland as a big group, or having large Christmas meals together. All of the children we’ve looked after have always become part of our family and have been loved and accepted by us all. If I had the chance to go back in time and choose if my parents fostered or not, I wouldn’t change a thing!”
Ryan, aged 24, has been part of a fostering family for ten years. When asked about how he feels about sharing his home with foster children, he commented: “It’s been enjoyable but I find it challenging when I see my parents being treated with disrespect. I have many lovely memories though, and I love to see foster children succeed and gain confidence through the guidance they receive from our family.
“I love to also see the kinds of opportunities that we enjoyed as children shared with those we care for.”
There are over 8,500 children and young people in foster care across Yorkshire and more than 900 new foster families are needed. Regardless of age, sex or family size, foster parents play a vital part in providing a loving and stable home for children and young people in need.
Orange Grove Fostercare is an independent fostering agency which currently takes care of 400 children across the South East, Midlands, North West and Yorkshire.
If you would like to find out more about fostering with Orange Grove, call the friendly team on 0800 3698513 or visit https://www.orangegrovefostercare.co.uk/offices/beverley/