Five sibling groups need Bristol homes

Five sibling groups need Bristol homes

Five sets of siblings in the city are in urgent need of fostering with Bristol City Council doing everything it can to keep the children together.

27 January 2022

Following the BBC documentary released yesterday, Split up in Care – Life Without Siblings, the council is renewing calls for Bristolians to consider if they could become foster carers for sibling groups, with 29 sets of siblings already fostered in the city.

Director of Children, Families and Safer Communities, Sarah Parker, said keeping siblings together often helps them settle into a foster family more quickly because they can support each other.

“It’s heart breaking to see siblings fostered separately, so we do everything we can to keep families together. Separating siblings can add to their distress and leave them feeling lost at an already difficult time so it helps for them to have a friend and playmate they’ve known all their lives.

“We have wonderful foster carers in Bristol, but we simply do not have enough to meet demand, both for individual children, and sibling groups which is often harder for people to find space for.

“I’d appeal to anyone who has considered fostering before to find out more. Anyone can be a foster carer, you don’t need to be married, or own your own house or have specific qualifications. You just need to be over 21 and have space at home. Children under the age of eight and children of the same gender can share a room.

“Sadly, there are too many children in Bristol that need that care and support, so we always need more foster carers. You won’t be alone – we will support you every step of the way and even match you with your own experienced foster carer ‘buddy’.”

Around 40 children in the city currently need foster carers. Foster carers are paid, and a range of support is available. 

Cat and James, foster carers for sisters aged six and five said:

“The children settle more easily if they share the experience with a sibling. They support each other to settle into the new family. Siblings share information, provide emotional support, they comfort each other, remember together – they are each other’s immediate support network. That relationship helps the children adapt to new routines and helps us as carers to get to know them – their similarities, their differences and their shared experiences.”

Georgina and Nigel, carers for brothers aged 14 and 12 said:

“Siblings start off life together, siblings are on a journey together so it is a privilege to be able to keep them together to develop their strong relationship for the future!”

Find out more about fostering on Bristol City Council’s website

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