Fostering siblings as a group is one of the best ways of improving the outlook of children and young people in care. By keeping sibling groups whole they can help and support each other throughout the fostering process. Indeed, the Children Act 1989 requires that local authorities must keep sibling groups together “if reasonably practicable and consistent with their welfare.” This is how important it is that siblings be placed into care together.
At Excel Fostering, we’re always looking to ensure that brothers and sisters are placed together if possible. By maintaining these relationships it has been shown that foster children have an increased sense of emotional support, community and belonging throughout the fostering process; something which ultimately results in a more positive care experience. Sadly, however, sibling group foster placements can be hard to accomplish for a variety of reasons. The biggest barrier being the availability of foster parents with the space to accommodate two, three or sometimes more, children or young people in their homes. Currently, research shows that siblings in care are separated as often as 1/3 of the time.
Removing a child from their siblings can present a whole host of concerns and is likely to cause them a great deal of grief and anxiety. When will they see each other again? How are they handling the situation? Are they being treated well by their new foster families? Are they happy? The concerns caused by the separating of a sibling group can have a direct impact on the behaviour of a looked after child or young person and may make their individual placement less stable and harder to settle into. In the long term, being placed separately may even cause the family bond to break down and make it hard for siblings to rebuild their relationship in the future.
There are some instances, however, where sibling groups may be separated in foster care. While it seems strange to say, this can sometimes be beneficial to the children and young people in question and may be done in some circumstances to protect the welfare of the children or young people in care. In these rare instances, sibling groups will purposefully be separated so that each member of the group can develop and grow positively in their new homes.
Are you interested in becoming a foster parent, are over the age of 21 and want to help sibling groups stay together? If so, then we want you to consider joining our team and becoming a registered foster carer. Get in touch with Excel Fostering today by phone on 01253 712734 or request a call back by using our online enquiry form.
As a registered Excel foster carer, you’ll be helping change the lives of children in your local area. You’ll also receive first-class fostering skills training, social care support and guidance and a generous weekly care allowance – in short, everything you need to be a first-class foster carer and provide top quality care.