Jamie and Maxine Chapman live in Coventry and specialise in fostering teenagers. Their seven year old daughter Ruby loves being a foster sister and her account of foster family life won a Fostering Network blog competition. This is included below.
“I really like being part of a foster family because I get to meet new people and learn lots of new things. The boys that we foster are all different and I never know what they are going to be like, sometimes they are quiet and shy sometimes they are fun and loud. I like singing and dancing and sometimes they pretend they don’t but I know they do really when they start singing along to my music. I did worry that I would get less time to spend with my family once we started fostering but I was wrong we still get lots of time together.
“I don’t like it when they tease me because it’s annoying, but we soon make friends again. I like it when we go to the park or on holiday and there are more people to play with and more people to help me find new friends on the beach. The boys like it when I find new friends who have older brothers (and sisters!!). We do different things now as a family so that we include the new person and make them feel at home, one of my foster brothers is German so sometimes we have bratwurst. I do activities now that I probably wouldn’t have done before we fostered.
“I think fostering is a kind thing to do and you get to meet new people. I get to play with the young people who stay with u, even though their much older than me and I get to know them. I’ve done new things that the boys like to do like watch the sky blues play football at the Ricoh Arena. It is fun when the boys come on holiday with us to Plymouth and Spain. My friends think that I’ve got lots of older brothers and I think that’s nice.”
Ruby’s top tips
o If the boy’s tease me I ignore them or tell mum or dad, after we will make friends again.
o If mum and dad are sorting out some fostering stuff just go and find a way to entertain yourself, because I will always have time with my family.
o I always like to talk to my new foster brothers when I meet them and ask lots of questions, I think that they like this.