Six sons and daughters of foster carers have been awarded The Fostering Network’s Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters Award, as part of the charity’s annual Fostering Excellence Awards.
The announcement of the winners comes at the start of Sons and Daughters Month - The Fostering Network’s campaign every October to celebrate the vital role that the children of foster carers in welcoming fostered children into their families and ensuring successful fostering placements.
The winners of the award are:
Robert, Rhianna and Bethan Goodwin - Robert, 13, Rhianna, 16, and Bethan, 18, from Flintshire have been part of a foster family since they were born, as their parents started fostering when they were a young, newly married couple. The siblings have been active members of the young fosterers group supporting sons and daughters of foster carers and have helped to create a kids’ guide to fostering including poems they had written about fostering. Rhianna said: ‘I feel really lucky to have won this award. Through fostering I have learnt that loving and caring for someone else who needs you is one of the greatest joys in life.’
Ellie and Maisy Kiff - Ellie,18, and Maisy, 17, from Carmarthenshire, have been playing an active role in fostering since their parents were approved as foster carers seven years ago. The family looked after one little girl with serious feeding issues. Ellie and Maisy helped feed and entertain and by the time the girl had left them, she was eating solid food and had shown a massive improvement. Ellie said: ‘Fostering has allowed me to meet so many amazing children. I am so thankful for the memories I have been able to make through fostering.’
Nia Clark - Nia’s journey with fostering started when her parents became foster carers over four years ago, when she was 14 years old. Despite some challenging times, Nia, 19, who is from Brighton, has rarely complained and has always been willing to learn about her foster siblings. Nia said: ‘Fostering has made me empathetic to different backgrounds and varying issues that those in care may have. It’s such a rewarding experience – watching my [foster] siblings thrive, develop, and be successful, and try new things without anxiety.’
All six young people will collect their trophies at The Fostering Network’s annual Fostering Excellence Awards in London on 24 October.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘These six outstanding young people exemplify the empathy and commitment to fostering that many sons and daughters of foster carers have, as well as the positive impact fostering can have on those sons and daughters.
‘It’s impossible to overstate the role that the children of foster carers play in a fostering family, welcoming fostered children into their homes and ensuring successful fostering placements. Many people say that the potential impact on their birth children is one of the major barriers to becoming a foster carer. The reality is that seeing life from another’s perspective can be an enriching experience and can help a child learn and develop as an individual.
‘With over 8,000 more foster families needed this year to meet the needs of children coming into care, recognising the positive impact fostering has on the whole fostering family is absolutely vital for recruitment.’
For more information about Sons and Daughters Month, the Fostering Excellence Awards and how to become a foster carer, visit thefosteringnetwork.org.uk