Much is made of the amazing qualities foster carers have; and rightly so. To open your home and your heart to a child in need takes patience, perseverance and a great deal of empathy, to name but a few qualities. But it's all too easy to overlook the fact that, in many cases, it's not just the foster carer who opens up their home to a child in need, it's the whole family.
Imagine suddenly having to share everything with a complete stranger - your home, your toys, your parents. For the sons and daughters of foster carers, this is daily reality. On top of that, this stranger may have complex needs which mean that looking after them takes up lots of your parents' time. You can see how disruptive it could be.
But up and down the country, children of foster carers are making these strangers feel at home, sharing their toys, befriending them, helping them settle into their new environment. More often than not, they make the difference between a placement breaking down and being a success.
Every year, the Fostering Network takes time to celebrate the sons and daughters of foster carers and encourage everyone involved in fostering to do the same. This October, we're doing a whole host of things to highlight the crucial role these unsung heroes play in making fostering a success. Most of all, we'll be saying a big thank you.
Starting tomorrow, we'll be posting blogs written by sons and daughters of foster carers, so they can tell you their experiences in their own words. At the end of the month, we'll be giving three of the best blogs a prize, which we'll announce here.
I hope you enjoy all the blogs (and please feel free to post comments of support if you enjoyed reading them). I hope you take a little time this month to thank and celebrate those unsung heroes too.
p.s. For more about all the great things we're doing this month, and info on events up and down the country, go to our Sons & Daughters page