Foster Carer Talks. Keeping siblings together.

31st May, 2023

Capstone Foster Carer, Katrina took the time to talk to us recently to talk about her experiences of fostering siblings. And she wanted to make one message clear.

If you can foster sibling groups, do it!

Preconceptions of fostering siblings

Katrina was quick to dispel myths that fostering sibling groups is more difficult, in fact, in her experiences having each other has made the process a little easier.

Indeed, when it comes to the foster children that she currently has had in situ for the last eighteen months she told us that the effects of splitting them up would have been devastating.

The younger of the two, and sister of the brother sister duo was only one year of age when she came into Katrina’s care. At such a young age, there was talk that she would go for adoption. However, Katrina passionately fought against this.

“This would have been the worst outcome for him. When he first came to us, he was so cautious to let us do anything when it came to caring for his sister. He had taken on the responsibility himself; he had become used to being her carer and her protector. He was only seven. It was heart breaking.”

Katrina talks about the journey that she went on with the siblings, building trust and showing him that his little sister was safe.

“It was amazing to see that weight fall from his shoulders. He was allowed to be a child again.”

Benefits of keeping siblings together

A misconception often held of children in care, is that they should be grateful in some way when they are removed from often volatile home environments and moved into a fostering environment. This is often not the case, and children rarely want to leave their parents despite what may be happening to them.

Katrina is especially sensitive to this and is part of the reason why she strongly encourages sibling fostering if someone can.

“They have lost everything, and then to lose a brother or sister as well. It is massive for them, I want to give them that one shred of stability that they deserve.”

Now, the dynamics of the sibling’s relationship has become more like something you would expect of a brother and sister, they bicker and play and are able to enjoy hobbies. Katrina being an ex-trampolining teacher, encourages this and has found that the kids are naturally sporty and the older brother is now opening up and exploring the world of gymnastics.

Advice for potential foster carers

With two spare rooms, Katrina went into her fostering journey knowing that she wanted to offer a home to siblings and specified this straight from the start.

Of course, anyone needs a spare room as a minimum in order to foster, every child needs a safe and secure place to call their own. But, if you have two spare rooms then sibling fostering could be the route for you.

“My advice is to be as open as possible, don’t try not to get to bogged down with what ages that you would like. Leave those preconceptions at the door, you never know what will come up. So be open and adaptive to what the children need.”

Wise words.

 

If you would like to know more about fostering siblings, then don’t hesitate to call one of our friendly advisors today on 0800 012 4004.

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