The south-west held a Children and Young Person Participation Group Event at Monkey World, Dorset to discuss what qualities children/young people want in a foster carer.
This event was organised by Lisa Moore, Supervising Social Worker and attended by Team Manager Kim York, Supervising Social Worker Deborah Hart and Carer Recruitment Officer Alison Woolhouse.
There were 25 children in attendance, including children and young people in placement, as well as carers own children/young people whose ages ranged from 9 months to 15 years with varying abilities and disabilities. What's more, 18 of our carers and family members attended alongside the children and young people.
The consultation theme was: what qualities do you want in a foster carer?
We did this by encouraging children to design pictures of carers using words, colours, and stickers as appropriate. We also had a competition for the ‘best picture of a monkey’. This included lots of discussions in age-appropriate groups. Below are the results of our event.
What Did The Foster Children Have To Say?
The foster children have shared with us what kind of foster carer qualities they look for, these were:
- Carers that are happy, kind, nice. Smiley, loving and generous.
- Carers that make them feel welcome, wanted, and let them have friends to stay.
- Carers that listen to what the children have to say and treat them like their own children.
- Carers that trust them and let the children learn to trust them (carers).
What Else Did We Learn From The Children and Young People?
We had a fantastic day and learned lots from the children/young people including:
- The children/young people were surprised that there were so many other children/young people in similar situations.
- That our foster carers are doing a brilliant job and have the qualities that children/young people want.
- That children/young people in placement enjoy having their voices heard.
- The children/young people were very understanding of additional/special needs.
- Birth children enjoyed having additional members joining their families.
- Birth children enjoyed children fostering.
What About The Foster Carers?
We also learned a lot from our foster carers including:
- They enjoyed meeting other carers and foster children and “feeling like part of a team”.
- They enjoyed the day so much that “we have arranged to meet up outside the group”.
- The foster children really enjoyed meeting other foster children and said they “felt like they belonged”.
The event itself was a success and we all agreed - “it was the best day ever and we can’t wait to do it again!”. Keep checking our events page for any upcoming days like these.