Keeping siblings together in foster care not only offers each child an extra layer of support and can reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety, but by sharing the experience and supporting one another it also helps to keep these important relationships alive.
There are many reasons why it’s so important to keep siblings together in foster care, these include:
- Provide a sense of continuity and belonging
- Can reduce feelings of grief and anxiety
- Enables them to settle into a new home quicker
- Supports their emotional and mental wellbeing
- Keeps important family ties and relationships alive
So far this year, FCA have seen 90 sibling group referrals. Only one sibling group has been placed with FCA Scotland parents during 2021 due to their limited capacity. 74 of these sibling group referrals were for two siblings, 17 of these referrals were in July 2021 alone.
That’s why we are appealing for more foster carers who can give a loving and secure home to siblings.
Legislation has recently been introduced in Scotland, giving siblings in care legal rights to maintain their relationships.
The legislation and National Practice Guidance is a milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to Keep The Promise to implement the recommendations of the Independent Care Review, which highlighted the importance of children being able to maintain sibling relationships
Amanda Lindsay, Managing Director for FCA, commented: “The number of children who enter the foster care system is staggering and many of these children are brothers and sisters who are often required to live apart due to the limited number of foster carers who are open to caring for siblings.
“This legislation is an incredibly important step forward for brothers and sisters in care in Scotland and we will continue to ensure the children who enter our care are happy, healthy and well-looked after.”
Shagufta Nasir, 53, foster carer supported by FCA Scotland has been fostering for over 10 years and during that time has experienced fostering siblings.
Talking about her journey as a sibling foster carer, Shagufta commented: “At the moment we are looking after two sisters. They have been with us since 2015 and we are hoping to move forward with permanency. When they came to stay, they were 5 and 7 years old. Today they are 12 and 14 years old.
“When we look down memory lane, we appreciate how far we have come. Today the girls are young ladies. We have supported them when they wanted to learn to play the violin/guitar, going to after school clubs, parties, transitions to high school. We have been part of the transition from playing with play do, colouring books, watching cartoons to manicures, makeup, and checking out the boys.
“When they tell me I'm like a mum to them and write me little notes, I feel very proud and blessed to be part of their lives.
“The most rewarding part of the job is when you receive hugs at the school gates, or when you receive a random text saying, "love you", or when you buy them clothes and they say: "you know me so well" and when they bring their baking home from school because they want you to have some.
“My advice to someone who is considering fostering would be; “don't delay. You will make a huge difference to a child's life when you foster."
Please contact our team today to find out how you can help keep siblings together.
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