tell us a bit about you and your fostering family!
I’ve been 18 years fostering, nearly 8 years with Nexus Fostering. We’ve fostered 116 children in total!
The 3 siblings I have now are age 3 and identical twins of age 6. First, they came on respite for a couple of weekends, then out of the blue I was called to the school and told to take them home permanently!
Bit of a shock as it wasn’t planned, but they were all so happy to be in our family. Very challenging at the beginning as they had no routines (eating, sleeping, hygiene, dressing etc.) didn’t sleep, ran around and round, didn’t know how to use a knife and fork or sit at a table etc.
After 6 months of looking for adopters, I was asked by the court if I would take them long term as they didn’t want to split them. Had to fight for this too as a psychologist has seen them at their home and recommended for them to be split based on their behaviour. But gradually they learnt with patience and persistence and now they are part of the family after nearly 8 years! They have totally changed into polite, beautiful girls who come everywhere with us; family holidays, dinners out etc and have impeccable manners!
what are the main challenges of fostering a sibling group?
Make sure you have time for each individual child; they are all different. Be organised.
What do you think the benefits are for siblings to be fostered together?
I feel it’s very important for their own self esteem and to be kept as a family. My 3 were going to be split as we struggled to find someone to adopt children with special needs, especially a group of 3. The younger one was going to be adopted and the other two go to long term fostering. But it would have devastated them all – each one wondering why they weren’t chosen, why they were left behind, what had they done to be separated. It would have majorly affected them all.
what is your fondest memory from one of your placements, or a particular success story you would like to share?
When a toddler I had for a year put her head round the door and said, “cuppa tea mum?”. She was copying my older children!
what tips would you give to someone expecting their first sibling placement?
Just make sure you have 1:1 time with them all as they have very different needs. My 3 aren’t alike at all!
if you could describe fostering siblings in 3 words, what would they be?
Challenging, stable & fun.
why did you choose to foster with Nexus Fostering and how have they supported you in your fostering journey?
Nexus has time for their carers. Provide amazing support. Put on things all year round for birth and foster children. Always available for us.