Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Challenges of Foster Children

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Challenges of Foster Children

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sonia Sharma

There's a shortage of foster carers who can give young people a good home. Sonia Sharma reports on a group trying to encourage more people into fostering

It's not always easy when foster children are brought into the home.

The birth children may feel left out or find it difficult to adjust when someone else is being showered with attention.

Now around 25 youngsters, whose parents foster children, have made a DVD telling of their experiences of welcoming other young people into their lives.

It will be used in training packages for prospective foster carers. The group also helps to prepare other birth children or grandchildren for what to expect when a new person comes into the household.

Rebekah Kitchell, 14, and Charlotte Dunn, 13, are among the group, called Children Who Foster, which was put together by North Tyneside Council's fostering service in 1994.

Rebekah's parents, Janet, 50, and John, 60, of Shiremoor, have been fostering children since she was three.

She said: "When I was three I probably didn't realise what was going on. My parents may have told me a new person was coming into the house and we would be living with them.

"But since then my parents have fostered more than 100 children aged up to 16. Some stay for a short period while others stay for years.

"I am much more used to it now and have no problems adjusting with a new person in the house.

"But we tell others that it is not always good and not always bad when foster children arrive. There are times when I really get on with someone but there are also times when I don't get along. You have to be prepared for that.

"On occasions you can feel that you are not getting any attention and there may be a little jealousy. I felt like that once when a girl who came to live with us ended up having the same friends as me. …

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