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“I just wanted to give something back” – Julie and her birth son Owen talk about fostering experiences as a family in Care to Listen Episode 2

Throughout the month of October, Five Rivers is taking part in Sons and Daughters month – a chance to showcase the role that sons and daughters of fostering families play in making fostered children’s lives positive and easier.

The Five Rivers Participation Team have been working hard to create a third series of Care to Listen?, a podcast series exploring the UK care system, and made by Five Rivers’ young people.

This week’s episode of Care to Listen? is an interview with Julie and Owen, a foster carer and her son from Cornwall, who have offered some perspectives on what is like to be a fostering family.

Having been in care herself, Julie wanted to help those who are in the same situation that she was in.

“I just wanted to give something back, knowing how it feels, I had a big need to help children that feel the same way”

This played a big part in Julie’s decision to become a foster carer and she has passed on her positive attitude towards fostering to her son Owen, who also felt like fostering was a great way to not only help other children but also to put things into perspective, when thinking about his upbringing – as many other children may not have the same love and care that he has been given by his mother Julie. This further made him appreciate his parents’ decision to foster.

Sons and daughters make a massive impact to the positive experience of fostered children and Julie remembers the sons and daughters of the foster families she was placed with fondly – and Owen reflected on what part he plays as a birth son of a foster family and what he loved about being part of a fostering family:

“The best bit of fostering is when you see the foster child happy when they try new activities that they like.”

Julie agreed that spending time together, doing activities like surfing was a great experience to have with the children and a chance to bond together as a family.

Both Julie and Owen wish for more people to foster and offered some advice to new and potential foster carers.

“It is important to have patience and empathy and starting each day anew…you need to start each day with a clean slate, no matter what the foster child has done, let it go and just move on.” Julie also emphasised how important accepting support was – “For anyone going into fostering, you need to take all the advice and training that you can get, you can never have enough support!”.

Owen encourages any families that are considering fostering to go for it. “You’d be doing the right thing by helping others.”

To learn more about Julie and Owen’s experience as a fostering family, listen to their episode of Care to Listen below and keep an eye out for new episodes, each week on our social media and podcast channels throughout October!

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