Putting down roots for future children who foster

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Oak trees were planted by sons and daughters of foster carers to celebrate their important role in fostering during Sons and Daughters Month in October

During Sons and Daughters Month, Gloucestershire county council’s K4K group which supports the sons and daughters of foster carers marked their tenth anniversary with the planting of ten oak trees and a time capsule at Robinswood Hill Country Park in Gloucester. Sons and Daughters Month is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to recognise and celebrate the vital role that the sons and daughters of foster carers play in successful foster care.

Gloucestershire’s K4K group was set up by fostering social worker, Jude Black, who still runs it today. The group meets regularly for organised activities and events which have included days out at farms, nature reserves and museums and they also organise a Christmas meal. The group gets the chance to discuss fostering issues, learn more about the fostering service and raises money for The Fostering Network.  The have also made their own film about living in a foster family.

Jude said, 'The role a birth child plays is so important to ensure the success of a fostering placement. These children are amazing as they share their parents, their house and their belongings with the children they foster.  I originally set up the group in order to offer foster carers’ children the opportunity to talk to others of a similar age about life in a family who foster. The voice of the child is important to us and the K4K group is one way we can hear about what they enjoy about fostering and what they find a challenge. Many of the group have been coming since the beginning, and this will be a great tribute to these children, and an inspiration to future sons and daughters.'

Blaize Bradley, 19, from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire has been fostering with her parents for five years.  Blaize felt excited when her parents first told her they were going to become foster carers.  Blaize said, 'It was something new.  I was excited about having youngsters in the house as my brothers are older and had left home. At the start it was quite hard to get used to having another person around, but now it feels normal and we get on so well. I enjoy the K4K support group as it is great to meet others and share experiences together.'