Often when children and young people are placed into foster care they have brothers and sisters. Some siblings stay with the birth family, but others can be fostered together and at Kindercare Northern Ireland we frequently require foster carers who are able to offer sibling groups a secure and loving environment.
Some of the only stability they might have in their lives when they enter foster care can come from each other.
However, this can present foster carers with additional challenges in providing the young people in their care with a stable and secure home environment.
Having several young people to cater for can put a carer’s organisation and time management skills to the test.
It can also be a pressure on the space in your home, so having enough room, time, resources and patience to adequately provide for multiple children is essential.
At Kindercare NI we look to recruit carers who already have experience of parenting and it follows that parents who have raised several children will be well placed to cater for sibling groups.
We also make sure that with every foster placement that carers are supported and given all the help, advice and assistance they need to make the placement a success.
Sibling groups, just like individual children, might well exhibit challenging behaviour during a foster placement.
Children struggling to deal with unmanageable feelings and complex emotions can present an individual or a collective challenge to the carer.
However, a stable, supportive and loving environment where adults can see beyond the behaviour and understand the child can often help them make considerable progress.
Helping siblings to stay together and help each other can be one of the most rewarding aspects of foster care.