February’s ‘Multi Media Mash Up’
Caring Kids is an initiative which started 10 years ago at Alliance to allow the birth children in fostering families the opportunity to come together in a safe space to discuss topics and issues that are important to them. We know that research into the impact fostering can have on the sons and daughters of fostering families highlights the importance of having an opportunity to discuss perceived difficulties, not just with parents but with other professionals involved.
We hold our Caring Kids days twice a year, usually in February and October and the days are facilitated by Alliance Foster Care’s Support Workers, Will and Nicola. The day generally starts with a morning session covering what it’s like to be part of a fostering family and how this has impacted on them individually. The children talk openly about the highs and lows of fostering; this can be both light hearted at times as well as a bit sad when discussing the foster children moving on and how much they are missed. To end the day the children and support workers have lunch then enjoy a fun afternoon activity; these have previously included zorbing, bowling, trampolining, laser zone and escape rooms.
February’s Caring Kids day was titled ‘Multi Media Mash Up’. The day started with a group session where the children and young people were invited to discuss their thoughts and feelings on sharing their parents. Following on from the initial discussions it was then suggested that their opinions could be transformed into a poem or rap focusing on the reality of their experiences within a fostering family. Some of the children felt confident enough to have their creations filmed for everyone to enjoy on the big screen before lunch. Then lots of fun was had bowling for the rest of the day.
In addition to Caring Kids we also have our Children’s Consultation group which has been very active this year helping Alliance to develop the services and support provided. The group have been very much involved in the activities that we have provided and listening to the young people has meant that they have an important role to play.
Fostering not only affects Foster Carers and the children in their care but also the carer’s birth children. Foster Carers whose children remain in the home often credit their children with fostering alongside them. Caring Kids is an excellent opportunity to give the children of fostering families the chance to discuss their experiences, frustrations and successes with other children and young people who are going through similar situations. Not only that, but the day also allows Alliance to say a big thank you for their contribution towards creating happy homes.
This is an extract from our 2017 Year Book, designed to take you through a year with Alliance Foster Care. To find out more and order a copy click here .