Sibling Groups – Help keep siblings together
Every day a sibling group is referred to social services and with the help of Sunbeam, suitable foster carers can be identified to ensure these children receive the level of support and care required. The Children Act 1989 requires local authorities in England and Wales to place a child with their siblings ‘if reasonably practicable and consistent with their welfare’. To further promote this, where possible our key focus is to keep siblings together. As you can imagine, being taken away from your home would be traumatic enough, but to be separated from your siblings could have a detrimental impact on emotional wellbeing. Therefore, we are constantly trying to recruit carers who can accommodate siblings groups to ensure brothers and sisters can remain together.
Children in vulnerable homes often find safety and comfort from their siblings, their relationship bonds them together. Many older children feel protective over their younger siblings and feel a sense of responsibility for their continuous well-being. In some cases, keeping siblings together can support this transition period. This further mirrors in their behaviour and the mutual support they give each other. Whereas, if siblings were separated it may cause anxieties due to not knowing where they are and can result in them being unable to settle into their foster home.
To be considered as a foster carer, the main criteria is to have a spare bedroom. However, to foster a sibling group, it is important to have either multiple spare bedrooms or a room big enough for either two beds or bunkbeds. If the siblings are the same gender then they are able to share a room, however if they are different genders then it is required that they have separate rooms depending on any associated risk factors and ages.
The urgent demand for Foster carers who can accommodate sibling groups is increasing, our key focus area remains to identify an appropriate placement for sibling groups to ensure they are kept together where possible.
Not only are we looking for carers with the space to accommodate a sibling group but also carers with the experience of looking after multiple children/young people who may present with additional needs. In addition we encourage our carers to be flexible with the age range, this ensures we are able to consider carers for a sibling group with a varied age range.
Fostering a sibling group can be more demanding. However, we will provide foster carers with the relevant training and support to ensure we are collectively able to promote and meet the needs of children/young people placed.
If you have the space, experience and time to foster a sibling group, please contact our recruitment team and we will be happy to speak with you.