When children enter the care system, they are often vulnerable, scared and distressed. They may have been removed from birth parents who were abusive and neglectful. This traumatic time in their childhood often leaves children feeling lonely, their siblings may be one of the only strong family connections they have.
his is why there is an urgent need for new foster carers who have the space and time in their life to look after siblings, be it two or more. More often than necessary, brothers and sisters are forced to live in separate foster homes due to lack of space. This can cause even more anxiety and upset for that child as they face not only losing their parents and home but another family member too. Wherever possible, we try to keep siblings together. We would like to do this more, and with your help, we can.
Foster families who are willing to take on multiple children give siblings a lifeline to hang on to. It can be really beneficial to the child to be placed alongside their sibling. It helps to boost feelings of attachment and connection, allows them to feel supported in a time of displacement, it can help them accept their new foster family more and paves the way for future happiness for all sibling members. Choosing to foster siblings means you not only make a difference to one child’s life but you have the opportunity to keep a family together and provide them with the support they may not have previously been receiving.
Space is often the main issue when it comes to placing siblings together in foster homes. It is often easier to place siblings who are of a similar age and the same sex together. This is because it can sometimes be possible for them to share a bedroom with bunk beds or a similar sleeping arrangement. Siblings who are different sexes and vary in age will require different bedrooms. This is to make sure they have a safe haven to call their own, to grow, learn and feel secure in.
Fostering siblings is not always straight forward though. There are some things to be aware of when you choose to foster siblings. Older children and teenagers in the group may have previously taken on the main caregiver role within the family. This can mean that they may be protective of younger children in the family and find it difficult to hand over that caregiving role to the foster carer. Other issues may be learned behaviour from previous caregivers manifesting in the behaviour of siblings. This can sometimes result in jealousy between siblings and rivalry for attention.
Fusion Fostering will ensure that any carer who chooses to foster siblings is fully supported and provided with any additional training that they may need to ensure they are confident in their skills to provide effective care and emotional support to those children. We provide 24/7 access to an experienced member of the Fusion Foster care team who can answer any questions you have and provide expert guidance on any issues you may be facing.
If you think you have the energy, capacity and could be a fantastic foster carer to siblings, please get in contact with Fusion Fostering today to begin your journey into a new, life-changing career. Fill out our enquiry form, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 03301 239355.
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