First words, special memories and morning hugs – being part of a family that fosters can be extremely rewarding.

Ben and Katie live with their parents who have been foster carers for the past 11 years.

As part of sons and daughters month this October – a time where the birth children of foster carers are celebrated – 17-year-old Ben and Katie, who is 14, have shared their experiences of living in their family home with children and young people who are fostered.

Ben and Katie have always treated the children their parents foster like a member of the family, whether they were staying for a few days or on a more permanent basis.

When the children first arrive at the house, the siblings help them to settle in as well as helping their parents with things like doing the dishes and walking the dog.

Ben said: “We feel really close to the babies who come to live with us as we often hear their first words and see them take their first steps.

“One baby who came to live with us said Ben as their first word, which was fantastic, and when I was younger I would always share my toys."

He added: “My favourite memory is when a child, who was staying with us, would knock on my door every morning to wake me up for school, give me a hug and help me to pack my school bag.”

Ben and Katie try to keep in touch with children once they’ve left the home and always have a special day out to celebrate their time together as a family.

Katie said: “Sometimes it can be upsetting seeing children leave but we understand that it’s to move back with their family, for a new permanent foster family, or adoption.

“We always have special days out, like a trip to the beach, and say 'see you soon' rather than 'goodbye'.”

Being part of a fostering family has helped to build Ben and Katie’s confidence as well as prepared them for parenthood in the future.

They’ve learnt about disabilities, disorders and illnesses and they both feel comfortable talking to new people whatever their age.

Ben and Katie attend the monthly sons and daughters’ support group run by their local authority, where they can speak to people about what’s happening at home and ask any questions or share concerns and worries.

For more information about fostering visit or call 01925 444100.

You can also email or use @foster4cheshire on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

How to help foster children feel at home

Ben and Katie have been part of a family that fosters for more than a decade.

They have welcomed dozens of children and young people into their home and have plenty of experience to share.

They have some top tips for anyone welcoming children and young people in need into their home.

Ben said: “It’s important to treat the children as part of the family so that they feel at home quickly.

“Try and remember that it’s your family too though and everyone needs time with their parents and siblings.”

Katie added: “It’s important to remember that not everything is about you and new children should always be treated with care and understanding.

Ben and Katie’s final top tip is to remember to treat everyone equally and, where possible, be flexible and adaptable to change so that newcomers settle in and feel at home quickly.