This week we spoke to Sarah and Matt who have their own son and daughter, have been fostering for 13 years and have fostered over 20 children over the years.
What makes this family even more extraordinary is that Sarah and Matt foster a brother and sister and their other sister is fostered by Matt’s mother in the house next door.
Trying to keep siblings together (when it’s right for the children) is a priority when placing children with foster families but it can be difficult with many carers not having the space in their homes (and time) to foster 2 or more children in a sibling group, in addition to their own families.
According to Sarah, keeping siblings together is so important as they provide each other immeasurable support and security during unsettling and often traumatic times.
When children are kept in a sibling group, it provides a sense of familiarity, reassurance and comfort during immense confusion and therefore it is always a top priority to keep families together when it’s right for the children. In Matt and Sarah’s case with the children they foster,it was fortunate that the 3rd sibling was able to live with Matt and Sarah’s mother, who lives next doo! What a wonderful outcome for everyone!
Sarah has loved fostering siblings and watching them grow with each other as well as alongside her own family. She has seen how paramount their support to each other has been and the importance of keeping certain important and positive memories alive for each other.
Sarah’s advice for potential foster carers is that your foster children should always feel included and treated equally to your biological children. She says that the most important thing to do is provide a loving and stable environment to give them the childhood they deserve.
She says ‘I am so proud of the children we’ve looked after and the beautiful people they’ve blossomed into’.
If you would like to find out more about fostering with Brighton and Hove City Council visit our website www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/fostering or call us on 01273 295444
To talk to some of our carers, come along to our info session on 19th April at Sussex Cricket Ground at 6pm.