Help brothers and sisters stay together

Somerset County Council is seeking foster carers in Somerset’s main towns for brothers and sisters of all ages.

Crop siblings

The Fostering Team’s next information session is at Taunton’s Holiday Inn Express on Saturday 12 September between 10am and 12noon. Anyone thinking about fostering is encouraged to come along to find out more, and meet current foster carers and social workers.

You need to have at least one spare room and enthusiasm to provide a stable, supportive home to become a foster carer for brothers and sisters.

Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015, 53 groups of siblings – totalling 135 children – were in need of foster care placements in the county. Of these, two groups of siblings, identified as needing to be placed together, had to be placed separately due to the shortage of carers able to support sibling groups.

A local, long-term fostering family is sought for Adrian, Anna and Ben, whose greatest wish is to be able to live together in the Taunton area.

Currently they are having to live separately. Adrian and Anna are intelligent and caring children who are both loving and affectionate towards Ben whenever they have contact with him.

They are very open children who are able to express how they are feeling. Ben can be a bit attention seeking and occasionally defiant, however he soon calms down and seeks cuddles and reassurance.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “There is a shortage of foster carers for Somerset County Council who can foster children over the age of 10, and siblings. While taking on more than one child may seem a daunting prospect, it is often incredibly rewarding. As an authority we really want to increase the number of local foster carers. By doing so, we can help give children who find themselves in need of care in Somerset more options which enable them to stay close to home, and give them the grounding they deserve.

“If you are interested in making a difference to the life of a child – and, vitally, have at least one spare room – we’d love to hear from you.”

The Council offers competitive fees, as well as a pay and progression scheme which rewards carers who are able to help siblings to stay together.

To find out more about fostering with Somerset County Council, visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or phone the team on 0800 5879900.

Notes to editors

Please note: The children’s names have been changed to protect their identity. The photo used is a stock image and does not bear a resemblance to the children.