Fostering helped shape the future - Bella's story #SandD2015

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Bella is the daughter of foster carers and she has joined a group which, with the help of pedagogic social workers from the Head, Heart, Hands programme, organises events for fostered and birth children. Being part of the fostering world has introduced her to new friends as well as offering fresh challenges.

My family have been fostering since I was 11. Currently, we have two brothers living with us that make us laugh a lot! I love meeting new people and having the house full of children. It is always lovely around Christmas if there are younger children in the house; it makes the day feel like a proper Christmas day.

When we have difficult children, of course, that’s a struggle, but the hardest part is when you build a relationship with a child and then they need to leave your home for one reason or another.

The experiences I’ve had from fostering have helped me to realise the direction that I wish to follow in the future. Fostering has developed my social understanding through experiences with children from cultures different to mine. I will never forget when we looked after an Iranian asylum seeker and he cooked us a delicious meal, with saffron-marinated chicken and steamed rice.

Our social worker invited me to be part of the Head, Heart, Hands social pedagogy scheme that she is involved in. I helped to plan a day out for around 30 fostered children and children of foster carers. We entitled the day ‘risk’ as this is something that we all encounter in our day to day lives, although for a fostered child taking a risk can be a little bit more difficult. We created a safe and friendly environment and then we all took part in a high ropes activity. Later we reflected upon risk and how we felt about it.

I love being part of this fantastic project and meeting all these new people. I am excited about the projects we will organise in the future!

Since fostering, I am more equipped with the knowledge of how to approach children and how to aid their development. I hope to study a social science in the future which will allow me to learn about different cultures, how they have been formed and the differences between us all.

My family has become a strong team and it has brought us closer together. I have met so many people and had some fantastic experiences. It is something amazing that you can do with your life in order to change someone else’s for the better.

 Bella's blog was written as part of our Sons and Daughters Month blogging competition. Find out more about Sons and Daughters Month.