FCA launches campaign to reduce sibling separation

Archived: Posted July 4, 2016

We’ve launched a high-profile campaign in Middlesbrough and Newcastle to recruit more foster carers to help prevent sibling groups in care being separated.

When siblings enter the care system, the decision whether to place them together or separately is of vital importance. The decision can have lifelong consequences in terms of whether these children will grow up knowing each other or not and developing important family bonds.

The ‘Foster Siblings Together’ recruitment campaign is appearing on buses, radio, leaflets and social media channels across Middlesbrough and Newcastle throughout July, and will appeal to potential foster carers to consider enquiring about looking after more than one child at a time by offering to care for siblings.

Foster siblings together

Jodie Fletcher Murray, operations manager for FCA in the North East, said: “For many foster children, the relationship with their brothers and sisters is what they value most about their family. Contact with siblings is very important, as it provides them with stability and consistency by just having each other to talk to and share experiences.

There is a shortage of foster carers in Newcastle and Middlesbrough to take sibling groups, and there’s evidence to suggest that children who have been rejected and placed apart from their siblings are less likely to have stable foster placements than if they had been placed with them. Wherever possible, we try to keep siblings together, but we need more foster carers in the region willing to meet this need.”

Unlike adoption, a fostered child remains the legal responsibility of the local authority and/or their birth parents, and ensures that children who cannot be with their parents or other relatives, for whatever reason, can be cared for in a family setting.

Linda Simmons, from Redcar, has been a foster carer with FCA in the North East for seven years.  She said: “I’ve looked after siblings from different backgrounds, some of whom had very complex behaviour, not through their own making. Some have lost everything and the only thing they have is each other, so why would you want to split them up? I’ve made some remarkable breakthroughs with the children and young people I’ve looked after. Read Linda’s full story.

“As is common with sibling groups, you can sometimes experience intense rivalry. They can shout and scream at each other, and seemingly want to tear each other apart, but when you consider what the long-term effect of separation could be this fades into insignificance – it’s just all part of growing up with your brother or sister!”

Having a sibling in the same placement can provide a trusted presence to share anxieties with, and a point of familiarity amid so much else that is strange and unfamiliar.

For more information about caring for siblings, please contact us on 0800 022 4330 or enquire online.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
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