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Two-For-One? What Fostering Siblings Is All About

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The idea of fostering one child can be a challenging but exciting one, but how about two?

For some, of course, fostering can be a way of life that means they can foster many children over a number of years. However, two at once may seem like a lot to take on; after all that means double the practical arrangements and getting used to two children instead of one.

However, there is one circumstance where this could be very beneficial for all concerned, which is when the children are siblings. Those providing foster care in Nottingham could help transform two lives rather than one in a much-needed way.

April 10th was National Siblings Day and the Doncaster Free Press marked the date with a report on a local agency, Fosterplus, that urged foster carers to take on pairs of siblings. It noted that one in six siblings is separated from their brothers or sisters when they are placed in foster homes, due to a lack of people willing to take two on at once.

The paper highlighted the case of foster carers Lisa and Andy, who took on two brothers in 2020. The case was a tricky one, as the youngsters did not have an established relationship.

Andy said: “When they first came, they didn’t have much of a brotherly bond, but we have been teaching the boys to recognise that they are brothers and to look after each other.”

Jenny Huggins from Fosterplus said: “We know first-hand the outstanding benefits of keeping siblings together,” adding there has never been a better time to provide a home for siblings who “desperately need a loving and safe environment.”

According to government figures, in March 2021 there were over 45,000 households and 76,000 individual foster carers in England. These tallies were up two and four per cent respectively on 2014-15, but the number of children in care grew 11 per cent over the same period.

That means the number of siblings needing to be fostered together will also have increased.