Wherever possible, at FCA, we always try to keep sibling groups together when they go into foster care. If you are thinking about whether to become a foster parent, then fostering siblings and maintaining sibling relationships is one of the options that will be available to you. From babies and young children to older children and teenagers, there are lots of sibling groups that urgently need safe and secure homes.
We understand that the thought of fostering siblings might feel a little daunting, but if you have the space, patience, and love, together with our fostering training, you could have everything you need to open your heart and home to siblings.
Why are siblings split up in foster care?
Sometimes it’s just not possible to keep siblings together. This could be for a number of reasons, such as the sibling group being too big to place them together, the age difference being too significant, or simply there aren’t enough foster families that have the room required.
Another factor is the age of the siblings. It is more common for younger siblings to be placed together. Accommodation is another hurdle. The larger the sibling group, the harder it can be to find a foster home big enough to take them all in.
Unfortunately, there are a number of negative effects of separating siblings in foster care. If a sibling group is removed from their parents, and then further separated from their siblings, it can lead to increased levels of fear, grief, anxiety, and isolation. Studies have shown that older children taken into care and separated from their younger siblings can often result in them having a hard time feeling accepted, and accepting their new family in return.
Keeping siblings together in foster care
So, why is it important to keep siblings together when they go into a foster home? CChildren are far more likely to settle down and progress in their new environment if they are kept with their siblings. Sibling relationships are nurtured as they go through this journey together, allowing them to support one another.
The importance of sibling relationships in foster care means that the children in care have someone they know and trust with them. Keeping siblings together can help them feel safer and less isolated. It offers a sense of continuity and belonging. Helping to make the transition that little bit easier and helping to keep a family together. When sibling groups are placed together, they experience greater stability in their placement, which is beneficial to mental health, paving the way for a more positive future.
Not only is fostering siblings beneficial to the children, but it is a wonderfully fulfilling experience for the foster parents. You’ll be keeping a family together and have the opportunity to make a huge difference in their lives. You can also enjoy getting to know the siblings individually and as a unit, enhancing your relationship and forming life-long bonds.
You might also find it easier as siblings are able to provide familiarity to a new foster home and be an emotional support to each other. As a child in care, who better to have with you than someone who can fully relate to the new situation you find yourself in?
Frequently Asked Questions around fostering siblings
Here are some questions we’re often asked by prospective foster parents about caring for siblings.
Are there any special requirements needed to foster siblings?
As long as you are over the age of 21, have the legal right to work in the UK, and have at least one large spare room, then you already have the minimum requirements to foster siblings. You need to be able to provide a loving, stable home and have the energy, patience, and time to meet the needs of each individual child.
Can foster siblings share a room?
This is a question we’re asked a lot by prospective foster parents. It is a mandate of the fostering services that every child over the age of three has their own bedroom, however, there are exceptions. If you have a spare room that is large enough, then it is entirely possible for your foster siblings to share it. This can actually be seen as beneficial, as they can provide each other with the comfort and security they need.
While local authorities state that each child in care has their own space, they do accept that siblings up to the age of around ten may share a bedroom. If you have any concerns then just give us a call.
What is the fostering allowance for siblings?
You deserve to be rewarded for your commitment to changing vulnerable children’s lives. And while the payment isn’t the reason why people become foster parents, we believe in paying our foster parents generous fostering allowances to reflect their hard work and dedication.
You will receive a weekly fostering allowance when a child or young person is placed with you (on average about £435 per child, per week), as well as other benefits and rewards, including summer and winter bonuses, up to 14 nights paid respite, appreciation bonuses, and discounts and offers at a number of high street retailers.
Don’t forget, you’re paid per child, per week, so if you are keen to foster siblings, the more money you can earn.
Do you offer training for fostering siblings?
Becoming a foster parent is an incredible thing, but it doesn’t come without its share of challenges. That’s why we offer comprehensive, specialist foster training and 24/7 support, so not only will you have the skills you need to be an amazing foster parent, but you will never be alone. We’ll provide you with the skills, experience, support, and knowledge you need to help you and your foster children flourish.
Help keep siblings together by fostering with FCA
There is currently a huge and urgent need for foster parents for siblings. While it can be demanding, it can lead to hugely positive results for both the children in care and the foster families.
At FCA, keeping siblings together in foster care is something that we strive to do. Sibling relationships are key to maintaining family bonds, as well as ensuring the siblings never feel alone. If you think you have the love, patience, and compassion to foster siblings, then we can’t wait to hear from you.
Give our friendly team a call today and we’d be thrilled to answer any questions you might have.