Growing numbers of siblings in care are split up so a specialised agency wants Siblings Day 2019 to be special for some of them.

Thousands of sibling groups in care across the UK are separated because of a lack of suitable foster carers, according to Five Rivers Child Care, an independent fostering group.

More foster carers willing and able to care for sibling groups are needed in Wiltshire because of the rising number in the care system. Recent findings from CoramBAAF, the Adopting and Fostering Academy, revealed 51% of children waiting to be placed with foster carers last year were part of a sibling group – up from 48% the year before. Across England and Wales, 5,000 children in care were separated from their siblings. In 2017, The Fostering Network surveyed foster carer providers and revealed that 86% of fostering services needed more foster carers to foster sibling groups.

Five Rivers Child Care, which has an office in Salisbury, wants to raise awareness of the importance of keeping sibling groups together to reduce their risk of added emotional trauma.

The group said people from all walks of life can become foster carers if they are over 21 years of age, including single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. The biggest barrier in keeping sibling groups together in foster care is a lack of space. The only requirement is a spare room for each foster child – siblings of the same sex may be able to share rooms depending on the individual requirements of each child.

A career in foster care offers flexible working and competitive rates of pay. For more information contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or visit www.five-rivers.org.

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