Although my children have always supported us to do fostering it can become challenging for them too. There was a time when a child in our care had been very disruptive. She would misplace their belongings from their rooms and play tantrum in the middle of the night upsetting their sleep. My children, as would any other teenagers, would get very upset and found it a very testing time to keep calm, not to get irritated and annoyed by her behaviour.
I would explain to my children and help them to understand that the child had come from an unsettled home and needed our physical and emotional support to help channel her frustrations and fear.
Despite the challenges my children face dealing with some foster children, they do draw attachments to them. When the children move on to their new homes it is always upsetting for them. They are very much part of that child’s life and treat them like their own sibling.
To help manage my children’s emotions, I always draw their attention from the onset that the child will eventually move on to their new homes. Also that we will provide them with the best possible care for the time they are with us. I always organise a leaving party for every child that eventually leaves. I invite all my family members and their children to say their farewells and take pictures for the foster child’s photo ‘life story’ album. Not only does it help my children and my wider family to have some sort of closure but also celebrating the foster child’s time with us, remembering it in a positive way.
After every sadness, follows happiness and we all look forward to the next child that comes in our care. They are just as exciting as the previous. The opportunity to start all over again doing what we love best in providing care and security to these vulnerable children and give them a better chance in life is what makes it worth it for my family.