Growing Up in our House is launched

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Growing Up in our House

The Fostering Network has today published a collection of poems and short stories written by children and young people who live in fostering families, called Growing Up in our House.

The writing, submitted to a competition as part of the 2014 Sons & Daughters: Celebrating the foster family campaign, was judged by acclaimed children’s author and long-term supporter of The Fostering Network, Jacqueline Wilson.

After much deliberation, Jacqueline chose her three favourite pieces of writing and some highly commended other pieces from each of the three age categories, 5-9, 10-14 and 15+.

Jacqueline Wilson said of the competition entries: “Each young writer has put their heart and soul into writing someone that represents their involvement in fostering. I think every single entry is very special, and I hope they will all love to see their work in print and continue to enjoy writing for years to come.”

Winner 5-9: This First of Many Things by Chantelle, aged 9

At first I felt lonely, I didn’t know my place, but all I had to do was look at my foster mum’s cheery face. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen, I had never seen one more lovable.

Highly commended: The Story of Hope! by Annalise, aged 8 and I Love my Foster Sister by Skye Wilson, aged 6

Winner 10-14: Gwendolyn Porter by Edith, aged 10

When we arrived Elisa wanted to see the pandas but stroppy Tommo wanted to see the lions while Daisy-May shrieked her head off in the pram. I hoped my face wasn’t as red as it felt. When eventually the trip was over, the children begged for a cuddly toy each. Elisa brought a panda, Tommo a panda and I chose Daisy-May a penguin.

Highly commended: Baby by Samuel, aged 10, I came into your lives as a lost and lonely child by Callum, aged 11, and Fostering by Esme, aged 10.

Winner 15+: Buster the Foster Dog by Alex, aged 15

I remember the first day I was here and I remember Buster coming up to me and nudging me to stroke him. After a while he placed his head on my lap and stayed there until I went to bed.

Highly commended: Wild One by Amber, aged 15 and a short story about fostering by Tilly, aged 16.

The full anthology of all the stories and poems, Growing up in our House, is available from The Fostering Network’s Sons and Daughters campaign page.

It is free to download, but please consider making a donation to help us continue our work with the sons and daughters of foster carers and the other children who live in their household.