Growing up in foster care is not easy for some children. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the carer to create an atmosphere for a child to feel loved.
We asked Stephanie to share her experiences of fostering and tell us what it’s like to be in a new home.
In your foster placement, what are your favourite things?
I get to go to the park and take part in a lot of activities. I have so much fun riding on the rowboats, playing tennis and running around the track.
I told my carers that I love to read, so they bought me a lot of books. My favourite is BFG. My bedroom is a comfortable place for me to read and play. I also got to choose how I wanted to decorate my room. The room is full of teddy bears and other things that make me happy.
Do you feel encouraged and supported to do well at school?
I get a lot of help with my homework. My foster carers always encourage me, so that when I am older, I can be whatever I want to be. Whenever I need support on certain subjects, I get it. I take part in a lot of after school activities such as extra English and maths lessons, as well as dance, karate, swimming and ballet classes.
What help do you get in difficult times?
I always sit and talk to my foster carers and ask them for help when I feel down. I enjoy my support sessions with my support worker too. I can now understand my feelings much better and learn why certain things happen.
What things are important to you, when living with a fostering family?
They find out what children need to make them feel comfortable, like a teddy bear or a hug. I always like it when my foster carers sit with me and watch TV.
A foster carer should also encourage children to do things that they have not done before. This will make the foster child feel special, happy and loved.
If a family were thinking about fostering, what advice would you give them?
Be kind and loving.