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Published on: 2018-01-22 16:30:00
As foster carers, with an existing placement of 9 years, we were approached to take on a sibling group of four in August 2016.
The Local Authority wanted to keep the children together whose ages ranged from 2 to 7, two boys and two girls.
We had previously had a brother and sister live with us, who were from a sibling group of 6 and we experienced their loss at being separated. Our hopes were that by keeping these four together they would be adopted together, but this has so far proven unsuccessful.
By having the four children together it has enabled them to have a happy experience of ‘normal’ family life whilst, at the same time, enabling the Local Authority to assess them individually and as a group, therefore hopefully giving them the best outcome.
Having such a large group of children living with you may sound daunting.
You are understandably very busy; we had two pre-schoolers as part of the sibling group, so there was extra demand on our time, along with school and nursery runs.
As is the case with any foster children, it takes time for them to settle into the household, become part of the family and the day-to-day routine. We found once this happened and the children themselves formed a stronger unit and interacted with each other more, it does become easier and enjoyable.
If you are considering fostering a large group, you do need a strong support network, several spare rooms, a large vehicle and the ability to understand the changing dynamics within such a large group of children from the same family.
Our eldest foster child, who has been with us for 9 years and is now 14, has been an enormous supporter of us having the children and the five children get on as one family unit.