We know that fostering involves the whole household, not just the foster carers themselves. You might have concerns about how fostering impacts on your children, what they might think and how a new child might fit into your family.
Here you can read about the experiences of some of the young people whose parents have decided to become foster carers for us.
Names have been changed.
Louisa was 10 when her parents started fostering. Before they started they had a family discussion about what would happen and how her parents time would be shared between her and their new foster children.
The family have had nine placements since starting fostering in 2005 and they mainly care for children aged birth to two-years-old.
Louisa said: “I was excited that we would be having new children coming to stay with us. I get to help out doing what I love doing. I am studying child care at college and hope to go onto work with disabled children.”
Louisa’s advice to other young people whose parents may be thinking about fostering is to make sure you always talk things over with your parents. She says: “Tell them your fears or worries but don't panic as you will be given a support worker to look after your family while fostering.
“I've loved fostering - we have had some lovely children with some big problems and some that just come while their mums have a break. I wouldn't change a thing.”
12 year-old James’ parents starting fostering with us in 2009 and in that time they’ve had six different people come to stay with them.
James was just seven when the family’s first foster child came along and had mixed feelings at first.
He said: “I felt excited that I would meet new people but I felt sad I would have to share my toys with them. But I knew that I was going to help people so I felt good about myself.
“My mum and dad told me that we were going to have some new people living here and that it wasn’t going to be forever - we were just looking after children who needed help while it was decided what would happen to them.”
Having a stranger in the house is not always easy and it can take a while to adjust. James says: “Our first child was a boy and he was very naughty and got on my nerves a lot but he never knew how to behave and we had to do our best to show him the right way.”
James says that the best thing is getting new people all the time to look after and play with but sometimes the foster children break his stuff and he feels bad if he gets cross with them. But he knows fostering’s a really important thing to do.
James says: “I think there are still a lot of children out there that need help. Fostering is a really important job because not all children are as fortunate as me and they will need help and someone to stay with. I want my mum and dad to carry on doing it at least for a few more years.”