Here, our Recruitment & Engagement Officer, Sam, tells us why we need more fostering families who can care for more than one child.
For many of us, our relationships with our siblings is something we take for granted. Personally, having a little sister was always somewhat of an annoyance when I was younger, and I didn’t measure the value of having such a relationship until I was much older. Now I realise just how important it was to have had that shared experience of childhood. I count my sister as one of the truly important people in my life because she knows what it felt like when my parents divorced, when my mum remarried, when I lost my grandparents because they were all the same people to her, too.
But for many children in care, they cannot have that shared experience. Their childhoods are separated, and this is often because of logistics rather than because of the law. For some children in care, being separated from their siblings can be the most appropriate step to take, but more often than not, their care plan approves the placing of brothers and sisters together into a fostering family. The challenge, then, is finding enough foster carers who can accommodate them.
It was estimated by the BBC in January 2020 that more than 12,000 children in care in the UK are not living with at least one of their siblings and while every effort is made to preserve contact and communication with that brother or sister, it is a poor substitute for sharing your life with them.
It is with confidence I can say Newcastle City Council do the upmost to preserve and maintain sibling relationships, and this includes keeping children together in fostering households wherever possible. But in order for us to continue with this, we need more fostering families who can care for more than one child.
With a large enough spare room, 2 children under the age of 13 can share. With 2 spare rooms, up to 3 children can be fostered. Opening your home to a child is one of the most rewarding things you can do but having the space and willingness to care for siblings can facilitate a bond like no other and is nothing short of miraculous.
If you'd like to find out more about fostering, contact us today. There are children waiting for you.