Your Questions

Do you have a question for Casey? Email Casey at caseywatson@harpercollins.co.uk and ask! The best questions will be featured below.

Question: I am thinking of going into fostering but I worry about the impact it will have on my family. We have two children of our own, aged six and eight. Do you think we should wait until they are older?  (S Adams – Kent)

Casey Answers: I think this is something that you need to decide as a family. I know lots of people who foster as well as bringing up their own young children, and it can work very well. Fostering always has an impact on family life, but can be a positive influence on your own children. Mine, for example have said that it made them more tolerant of others. Fostering is a really rewarding career and I’m sure you will make the right choice. For more information, a good place to start would be with your local council. They will have dedicated advisors who will send you out all the relevant reading material to enable you to get the ball rolling.

Question – Danielle M asked: • I have a question for Kieron who is just a few years older than me (or Riley) If they don’t mind answering it that is. I work in a private daycare so I really understand children and it was my idea that mum and dad should try fostering and now that there going further and further through the process (waiting to hear back from the panel) I’m worried I may be pushed out from the family for any children that may come along – I know that sounds selfish and I know that I will adore having children who need help around.
How did they feel about the whole fostering thing?

I can relate to Kieron in many ways, we are both the “babies” of the family and we both have our own issues we go through.
I don’t know how Kieron felt when Riley had her children but when my sister had her twins I felt pushed out so I’m just worried I will feel like that when or if a foster child comes along.

I would also like to know if Kieron got any “training” in fostering because he was living with you – I live at home and I’m not allowed to attend the training sessions (which personally I don’t think is fair!)

If this is to full on and they don’t want to answer or can’t please just let me know 🙂

Casey replies: Hi Danielle, I think it’s really sensible of you to be asking these questions, and shows that you are giving some serious thought into the process. The reason that other family members can’t attend the training sessions, is because your parents will be discussing you a lot, and giving their opinions on the impact fostering might have on you. They are put through certain scenarios where they need to judge what your reactions might be. They are then trained about how to deal with situations where you might get upset or something. When your parents have qualified, they will be told about family support groups especially for you if you wanted to attend. You would get to meet other young people who’s parents foster, and have a good old moan about anything if you wanted to

When Kieron lived at home, he was very much a part of the fostering, and when our Link worker came to visit, he always asked Kieron if he wanted to discuss anything, or to have a private chat. He sometimes sat in on our meetings, but mainly, he was just happy to know that there was some support there if he needed it.

I spoke to both Riley and Kieron, and showed them your message, and they both said that they felt exactly like you at the start. They were excited, but also a bit worried about what effect it might have on them. Kieron especially, he said that sometimes he thought it wasn’t fair that the foster kids ‘got away with stuff’ that he never did. But as a carer, I couldn’t help this, we have guidlines to follow, like, if Kieron had trashed his room for instance, he certainly wouldn’t have got pocket money that week, but with a foster child, we aren’t allowed to hold back pocket money, so it sometimes doesn’t seem fair does it?

When Riley had her first baby, Kieron did feel a bit pushed out. He said that overnight, he went from being our baby basically, to being an uncle, which meant that suddenly he felt he had to grow up fast, and he felt a bit ignored that the baby was suddenly getting all the attention. (I didn’t realise this until he just told me )

Both Riley and Kieron say that you shouldn’t worry about taking second place to the foster kids, because they soon realised that this doesn’t happen. Your parents will be more concerned about you if anything. And when you hear the stories about the children’s backgrounds, Riley said it just makes you want to help in any way you can (even if they can be annoying at times)

I’m sure you’ll be fine, Danielle, I think it will make you a more caring person, it makes you realise just how lucky you are in your own life. Please pass on my best wishes to your parents, and tell them I hope it all goes well at panel, and please keep in touch, especially when you meet your first foster child, it will be lovely to hear about

Lots of love, Casey xxx