When the decision has been made that Fostering is a career that you wish to pursue, the process will begin. Part of this process will be to assess as to whether you are suitable to Foster Siblings.
Fostering, of course, entails a great deal of energy, patience and enthusiasm to ensure the child’s care needs are met, so naturally this is an even greater requirement and demand in the event siblings are fostered. With this in mind, it is perhaps without surprise that Foster Carers that are willing and of course, suited to Fostering Siblings are in very high demand.
It is our duty to place Children with their siblings when considered Reasonably practicable and Consistent with their welfare in accordance with legislation.
This, however, is not always possible, whilst every effort is made to ensure they remain together, it is not always easy or even possible to find placements that are suitable. Remaining together offers many benefits but can pose it’s challenges which we will endeavour to touch upon.
Fostering Siblings – The Benefits
You may well feel that the benefits are obvious, however it is always a good idea to highlight exactly how a child or the children can be positively effected by this decision.
An immediate benefit as you could likely imagine, is an instant source of familiarity, a familiarity in an environment that is completely Alien to the children. Being able to gain reassurance from one another can be so important in a time that can prove both very stressful and difficult.
Anxiety can be prominent for any for any individual when moving to a new home, this is significantly magnified for a child who is not only moving to a new home but also amongst a whole new familial network. This is worsened when Sibling separation has occurred, a child will not only be endeavouring to harness their own concerns and anxieties regarding their immediate to long term care, they now have that added worry bout the whereabouts and wellbeing of their sibling.
Where are they? Are they scared? Are they being treated and cared for well? – Are all prime examples of potential thought processes, further adding the already anxious state. Such concerns will, of course, hinder their own efforts to settle into their new environment, their ability and want to embrace their new surroundings and the people within it.
To further exacerbate matters, Sibling Separation poses a very real risk of straining bonds should the separation be over prolonged periods, a bond that can prove so important, so integral to them when they eventually move into adulthood.
Fostering Siblings – It’s Not Always Straight Forward
Sibling placement is not always a straight forward process, the older child of the siblings, if accustomed to sibling placement may well have taken on the responsibility of carer and as such are not willing to relinquish these duties to you, the carer(s). In any fostering instance, the child’s welfare is paramount and and as such, the placement of siblings (together) does not always represent the option of care.
It is important remember that we are all individuals, we all have our views, children in care are no different. There is a very real possibility that a child has a very alternative view as to what a sibling actually is, there could be a very strong desire for the maintenance of a relationship or bond with half snd/or step sibling residing outside of care, that they wish to continue.
As you can see, there is much to consider when looking at Sibling placements, and whilst it has it’s potential challenges, it also has it’s significant benefits to the children, which in turn will return terrific rewards for them, you and your family.
Read more about sibling separation.