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May 2024

How Fostering Brings Families Closer Together

Happy multigenerational people having fun sitting on grass in a public park

When embarking on the journey of becoming a foster carer, you will no doubt be thinking about how it will affect your family dynamic. Rest assured, fostering can be a highly positive and rewarding experience for all members of a family. It often involves a combined effort from all, with each member playing a vital part in helping a young person to feel supported, cared for, and empowered to achieve their full potential. 

How Wider Family Members Contribute to Fostering

A commitment to help a foster child often means that parents gain an insight into how their own children are feeling and experiencing different aspects of their lives. You gain the chance to look at the world through the eyes of a child, which enhances your ability to better communicate with your own children and in turn, parent with more intuition and mindfulness. It also helps your own children develop skills in empathy, sharing, caring, and compassion. Children within the family unit often enjoy the team spirit that comes with working together to help and support another youngster, strengthening their own relationships with their parents. 

Fostering also encourages entire families to try out new experiences, especially ones which they know may be of interest to their foster child. This could result in the family learning new skills and hobbies and is very much about broadening their horizons. When whole family units get the opportunity to try out new and exciting pastimes, they experience a feeling of togetherness and quality time. They get to collectively learn new skills and bond over a sense of accomplishment and achievement. 

As a foster carer, you may also seek extra emotional support from your own parents, who can impart valuable advice and wisdom, together with offering encouragement and support. This further strengthens the relationship between them. As is the case with any family unit, it is perfectly possible to live life as usual when you are a foster carer, if you have a great network of support from family and friends surrounding you. 

A commitment to fostering extends to the full family unit, whether that includes siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents. Everyone will play an active part in coming together to provide support. They may help with school runs, hobbies, homework, or simply get involved with playtime. This brings a sense of closeness and togetherness for all involved. A foster child who is surrounded by loving family members, with the opportunity to grow new friendships, grows in self-confidence and resilience, helping them to establish their own sense of self. The entire family network is given an opportunity to become positive role models in a youngster’s life, encouraging them to be the best mentors that they can be.


It is not just foster children who can flourish with the right guidance and support from a foster placement – entire family units can enjoy the benefits, too. Nothing strengthens a family more than sharing team spirit, strong bonds, and an overwhelming sense of achievement.

If fostering would fit well with your family, get in touch with the team at Ascent Fostering to begin your foster family journey.

From the Directors Desk

Running an outstanding fostering agency in South London has its rewards and challenges not least in the environment of children’s social care. We know there are tremendous social pressures within the wider community which leads to children coming into care. The local authorities are under huge pressure to ensure children remain safe in their families in a world where they have less money to spend. As a provider of outstanding services our responsibility is to ensure we offer quality, and value for money for our customers.

So, from my view point I like to think about five major areas:

  • The delivery of therapeutic care to children
  • Foster carer development
  • Quality of support
  • How we support our staff team and recruitment.

Of course, there are other equally important things we deal with day- to-day but these areas encapsulate the issues I think about from my perspective.

The delivery of therapeutic care to children and young people

This really centres on having good information, from our LA partners which enables us to understand the needs of children and young people in a wholistic way and they are well matched. We do our own assessment to unpick the presenting needs, to explore how we will deliver the care plan in a foster home. This is ensuring children feel safe and well supported in their new foster home.

Foster carer development

How a foster carer develops their skills is essential to caring for looked after children well. To intentionally parent children you need to be curious and understand their trauma and how this will impact your household. Foster carers need to reflect on parenting by using training and the support networks around them well. This includes their supervising social worker, therapeutic consultant, and mentors. We also know you do not become a therapeutic foster carer overnight, so it is a journey of learning with support.

Quality of Support

Given we are a south London fostering agency, Ascent actively uses the community and local resources to support our families. We partner with other resources in the community such as Reaching Higher a local youth charity to offer young people alternative activities with their peers. Support can mean using our various groups to discuss the delights and frustrations of parenting somebody else children. We have focused on the team’s mental wellbeing over the last year and challenge the team to stay healthy and to reduce stress in our lives through having a good diet and to exercise. Its not unusual for us to go for a walk in the park as a team or have a picnic together as a way of normalising the care experience for all. Support is about as having a range of tools to help foster carers reflect on the challenge of caring for children with complex needs and collectively think and share each other’s worries as a group. It takes a team to support the children in care or as the African proverb says, “it takes ‘a village to raise a child.”

Our core staff are the backbone of the organisation and at Ascent we have an Investors in people’s platinum award, we continue to make great strides in ensuring Ascent is a great place to work and people feel listened to and supported to do their job well. We believe everyone needs reasonable challenge and feedback; and to be clear of the organisational goals. Ours is simple we are committed to providing the best care possible for children and young people. Too achieve this we need motivated people who are aligned with our vision. Thankfully, we have a fantastic team who often go over and above to deliver the best care and support.

Looking for fostering carers across South London presents a major challenge, mainly due to the lack of availability of spare rooms within the family home, birth children are staying at home longer as they are finding it increasingly hard to move either into rented accommodation or buy their own place. A spare room in the family home for a looked after child is essential as they need a place to call their own where they can feel safe. We are actively seeking new carers to join our team. It important that people in South London engage with fostering as it a great way to give something back, its rewarding and we train and renumerate our team well. If you are interested email us on or call us on 0203 757 0070.

Author – Mark Pomell


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