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Fostering Siblings

fostering-siblingsLocal authorities in England are often faced with situations where sibling groups are taken into care. A local authority usually has an arrangement with independent agencies such as Capstone to arrange for foster families who can help keep the siblings together. The independent fostering agency does the assessment and training of the foster families and works closely with the carers so that the best possible placement for children and young people can be made.

Studies have shown that about one-third of children taken into care are separated from their siblings. Being taken into care is traumatic enough without the additional stress of being separated from their brothers and sisters. Capstone is always looking for foster carers who can assist in our effort to avoid having children in foster care being split up from their brothers and sisters.

Every day in the UK, children are removed from their homes because of events that are beyond their control such as family violence, death, and illness. In these emergency situations, there are often siblings groups, rather than a single child. These brothers and sisters are in need of a temporary home and in the type of disruption that causes them to be taken out of the family home, all they have is each other.

During the assessment period of a foster carer, one of the first aspects that is considered is whether there is sufficient space for a separate bedroom for a foster child. There is an expectation that any child over the age of three has his or her own bedroom. However, if the room is large enough, it is possible for siblings to share a bedroom. In some cases, this can provide comfort and a sense of security to the foster children who have been thrust into an unknown situation. Knowing that they will not be apart from their siblings, that they will be with someone they love, has been shown to have a very positive effect on their outcome in later life.

Sibling groups are not always cohesive and if there are any relationship difficulties between the children due to sibling jealousies or family dynamics, a Capstone specialist is available to work with the foster family and the children to make the most advantageous arrangement possible. Close relationships between siblings can be strained in times of great stress such as being taken into care and perhaps all that is needed is patient parenting skills and loving support.

In an emergency, the emotional impact on children and young people can be quite complex. A social worker will be available and a siblings group placement would be discussed in advance. Capstone Foster Care works closely with its foster carers and will be aware of those who have the space and the interest in providing a caring home to brothers and sisters before the need arises.

If you wish to become a foster parent, or simply want to have more information about what is involved, contact Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

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