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7 Benefits of Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Care

If you’re on the fence about whether to foster single children or siblings, find out why keeping siblings together is so important and why it's so rewarding.

October 3 2022 - 5 min read

As a foster parent, there are many decisions you need to make, particularly when it comes to the type of fostering you want to do. You might decide you want to do short-term fostering rather than long-term; you might also choose to foster only a very specific age group. Another decision you need to make is whether you will foster only single children or siblings.  

Fostering siblings may be extra responsibility for the foster parent, but it does a world of good for the children. If you’re on the fence about whether to foster single children or siblings, here are the benefits of choosing the latter.

1. To Keep Loved Ones Together

While choosing to foster one child is an amazing decision to make, if you have the space and availability to dedicate to fostering siblings, we’d urge you to consider it. Sadly, there aren’t enough foster parents available to care for siblings, which often leaves local authorities with little choice other than to split them up. It can be heart-breaking for the siblings, as they are each other’s loved ones. They have already been through so much, too.

One of the best benefits of keeping siblings together is the fact that it means keeping loved ones together. The more family a child in foster care can keep around them, the better.

2. To Prevent Isolation

No matter how loving their new foster parents are, children will often feel alone, confused, and upset when around no one they know. Fostering siblings is a way to combat that. For the children in foster care with their brothers or sisters, sticking together means never feeling completely alone. No matter what they go through, they will always have each other.

3. A Better Chance at Stability

Becoming a foster parent means providing a child with a safe and stable environment where they can thrive. One way to do that even better is by fostering siblings. Siblings may argue, but they often have each other’s backs and can give the children a sense of safety no matter where they are. When a child is feeling down, the presence of their sibling can help.

4. It Improves the Children’s Social Ability

Some children in foster care may not have developed social skills in the same way as other children their age. That is often due to their past trauma and environments. One way to help a child build the social skills that they need to thrive in modern society is by keeping them with their siblings so they can learn how to interact in a positive way. Throughout their sibling friendships and rivalries, they will understand more about social relationships, which will, in turn, help them function in their day-to-day life with other people.

5. For Extra Support

No matter how much you try to put yourself in a child’s shoes, no one is going to understand how it feels to be taken into care more than a sibling who’s going through the same. Even with the best social workers and the kindest foster parents in the world, often, there’s no better comfort than having your brother or sister by your side. It also often helps children to settle in foster care much quicker as they’re not worrying about where their siblings are, whether they’re safe and when they’ll be able to see them again.

6. It Can Mean Less Work

You are likely to assume that the more children you foster, the more work it will be. That isn’t always the case. In fact, when you care for siblings, the children can often entertain each other. Whenever one of them is bored or lonely, they have their sibling to play with.

Of course, this isn’t always the case, especially if there’s a big age gap and therefore have different interests. At times, they may argue and fight – but that’s just part of sibling life.

7. For Less Disruption to Their Lives

Children in foster care go through a lot. No matter what their history or personal circumstances, they go through a massive change that leads them to be in the foster system. This disruption can hinder their growth, and they don’t need any more adding to it.

By fostering siblings, you lessen the amount of disruption to their lives. They will already be moving into a new home for a certain period of time – you can make that move easier on them by letting them stick with their siblings.

Fostering Siblings Helps with Growth

By choosing to foster siblings, you give them the best chance at a successful life. During such a difficult time, you allow them to stick with the loved ones they know most. In turn, they may adapt to being in foster care much easier, allowing them to grow and flourish despite their past experiences.

It is your decision what type of fostering you want to do, but if you have the time and the space, fostering siblings is a great thing to do that will truly help the most disadvantaged children. Consider embarking on this today.

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