If you’re new to foster care, you can learn all about our fostering process and how we are there every step of the way to help you transform children's lives.
Looking to transfer?
Changing fostering agency is a big decision.
You can get honest advice and guidance from one of our friendly team.
We offer our foster parents a generous fostering allowance alongside our other benefits, to enable you to provide the very best care to children you look after.
Do siblings stay together in foster care?
Local authorities and social workers will always try to ensure siblings remain together in foster care, as it’s shown to have a positive impact on the success of their placement. Going into foster care for the first time can be scary, and the emotional, social and psychological support of a brother or sister can help children deal with the changes more effectively. Keeping siblings together in foster care also provides a sense of stability during what will be a very unstable time.
However, it’s not always possible, or in the children’s best interest, to place siblings into the same foster home. Alongside the national shortage of foster families in the UK and families who have multiple spare bedrooms to accommodate a sibling group, there are other reasons too. Children that need specialist care may have to go to a different foster home than their brothers and sisters, as it’s vital they’re in an environment that can support them and help them thrive. It might also be evident that there are issues between the siblings, such as intense rivalry, jealously or bullying. In cases like this, the children’s safety and wellbeing will always be the number one concern, so separation could be deemed better in the long-run.
What you need to foster siblings successfully
Alongside being aged 21 or over and having the legal right to live and work in the UK, there are some other things you need to make a great foster parent to siblings.
1. Spare bedrooms and space
When you foster siblings, this means looking after 2 or more children at a time. If you have a double size spare room, this can be considered for same sex siblings, but brothers and sisters will need space of their own. Bedrooms are a haven and can be our emotional escape when things get too much. They’re also a space where kids can indulge in their hobbies and express their individuality.
From school runs and doctor’s appointments to being a shoulder to cry on, there’ll be more to juggle when you foster siblings. It’s important you’re able to share your time and attention evenly between siblings. When one of the children is demanding more of your time, this could trigger feelings of rejection or neglect in the other child. No matter what you’re dealing with, when you foster siblings with Fostering People, we are here to support you every step of the way.
This is a key quality of an amazing foster parent. It takes time for children to overcome their pasts, and it’s not always smooth sailing. They can be hurt, angry and confused, and the severity of their history could have impacted their emotional and social development. When you foster siblings, this could all be doubled and intensified. They could have a complex relationship, struggle to open up or they might instinctively band together to rebel against you. If you’re able to stay calm in stressful situations and don’t expect children to just ‘snap out of’ damaging behaviour patterns, you could be an incredible force for positive change in a sibling group’s lives.
4. Emotional availability
Every child in care is different, but one thing they have in common is that they will have all endured some form of trauma. Even in cases where parents have provided love, food and a caring home but due to unforeseen circumstances, were not able to look after their children, being separated from their family is still traumatic. As a foster parent to siblings, you need to be mentally strong and have the emotional availability to take on more than one child’s pain and hurt.
What's right for you?
The idea of fostering siblings may sound a bit daunting, so we have popped together some of the hugely beneficial reasons why taking siblings on could be advantageous for you and your family.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent and would like to learn more, then we’d love to hear from you.
Simply fill in the form below and one of our friendly team will be in touch.