Sons and Daughters Month is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to celebrate the vital contribution which the children of foster carers make to foster care.
Each October, fostering services across the UK run events and activities to recognise and reward children and young people for the important role they play in welcoming fostered children into their families.
Show your appreciation
The sons and daughters of foster carers play an essential role in welcoming fostered children into their families and ensuring successful fostering placements. Most sons and daughters of foster carers report that they are happy being part of a fostering family, but expectations on them are high and there can be challenges to overcome. Sons and Daughters Month is the perfect opportunity to show the young people in your service how much you appreciate their contribution and dedication to fostering.
Taking time to listen to the sons and daughters of foster carers and hearing what they have to say about their experience of being part of a family that fosters is an important way of showing your appreciation and improving your service.
You can also encourage them to take part in our competition to show that their views are valued. Our competition runs all through October and gives children and young people who live in a fostering household the opportunity to represent their favourite aspect living in a fostering household while getting creative and makin a fancy dress outfit. Knowing what they do is valued by the fostering service and their local community can make a real difference to how these young people feel about fostering.
Recruitment and retention
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 many children benefit from being part of the support network offered by a fostering family to a fostered child. Seeing life from another’s perspective can be an enriching experience and can help a child learn and develop as an individual.
Involving older sons and daughters in recruitment information sessions during Sons and Daughters Month can help allay some of the fears of your potential future foster carers, encouraging more to apply. Supporting sons and daughters through groups and activities helps them meet other children from families who foster and share their experiences in a fun and safe environment. This in turn can support your foster carers and boost your foster carer retention if they feel confident their whole family is supported and valued.
Encourage young people to enter our competition
Our competition will run during October and every young person living in a fostering household can take part. It's a great opportunity for the children and young people in your service to express their views in a creative way. Let the them know about it and encourage them to get involved. Click here for more information.
Run a ‘thank you’ event
The main aim of Sons and Daughters Month is to thank the sons and daughters of foster carers, so the best way to get involved is to organise a thank you event or activity. Even with coronavirus restrictions, inventive video call ideas or social distanced events and small gestures will be hugely appreciated by the children and young people, and by their parents.
Send a card or give a certificate
A great way to let the sons and daughters of your foster carers know that they’re appreciated is to send them a thank you card or give them a certificate. A free certificate for you to download and send out will be available from this page shortly - in English and Welsh.
Send a thank you message
Most children and young people like to receive something in the post. We will have a downloadable letter from our chief executive that you can send to sons and daughters, or you could ask your local mayor or another dignitary to write a letter to all the sons and daughters of foster carers. In addition you could ask your head of service to record a short thank you message to the sons and daughters of your foster carers.
Set up a group
If you haven’t got one already, use the month as an opportunity to launch a sons and daughters group in your area. The group can give sons and daughters of foster carers a chance to meet, share experiences and talk about how they feel about being part of a fostering family, while doing fun activities together. You can read about one such group here.
Take time to listen, share and reflect
Whatever you decide to do to say ‘thank you’ to the sons and daughters of your foster carers, it’s important to take time to evaluate the success and impact of your activities, and to do so with the help of sons and daughters.