Fostering With Birth Children? Advice for Parents

Kids lying on each other on a sofa relaxed at home

Becoming a foster parent isn’t something you decide on a whim—it’s a thoughtful journey. It’s important to gather the whole household together from the get-go, and it can feel even more significant when you consider how fostering might impact your own kids. Ensuring your biological children’s well-being is a top priority, but giving your foster child the best care possible is just as important. It might sound like a big task, but when done right, it’s truly rewarding.

The impact of fostering on birth children can be both positive and negative, but research has shown that the good tends to outweigh the bad. Participants of a study claimed their experience as the biological child of a foster parent was ‘eye-opening’, and there was a general theme of feeling closer to their family because of it.

Top Tips For Fostering With Birth Children

Here our top tips for you to consider on your journey to becoming a parent and foster carer:

  1. Be Honest and Open: Start by having a heart-to-heart chat with your kids. Let them in on your decision to foster and what it means for the family. Be real with them about the uncertainties and changes they might face. Knowledge is power!

  2. Quality Time Matters: Fostering can be demanding, but remember to dedicate special one-on-one moments with your biological children. You don’t want them feeling left out in their own family.

  3. Keep the Lines of Communication Open: Foster parenting has its challenges, and it’s essential your kids know they can always talk to you about any concerns or feelings. Encourage them to express themselves freely.

  4. Set a Good Example: Explain to your children why some foster kids might have behavioural issues due to their past experiences. Make it clear that these behaviours aren’t acceptable, but that you’re there to help the foster child grow and heal.

  5. Promote Bonds: Encourage your kids to find common interests or games to play with their foster siblings. Building positive relationships within the household is key to creating a healthy environment.

  6. Prepare for Goodbyes: Foster placements don’t last forever, and saying goodbye can be tough for your birth children. Make sure they understand that their foster siblings may move on, and give them the space to express their feelings.

Remember, your children’s well-being is a top priority when fostering. With The Foster Care Charity, you’ll have a support system in place, including dedicated social workers and family-oriented activities. We’ve got your back at every step of your fostering journey, helping ensure a positive experience for your entire family. 

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