Fostering siblings during lockdown
Pip previously thought that being single, working full time and not owning her own property would all be barriers to fostering. None of which have in any way affected her ability to become an amazing foster carer to three siblings!
Pip’s advice to anyone who is interested in fostering is to investigate all the options before ruling yourself out. “There is a type of fostering to fit around your lifestyle, whether that’s three siblings long term, or one child for respite one weekend a month”.
To be able to keep the siblings together is so important, so they have someone else they know and love and can rely on. You learn a lot about sharing, caring and looking after each other as a sibling, so keeping them together is better for them
Pip had always been aware of children in care and the need for foster carers, so two years ago decided to take steps towards developing her experience and skills with children, by becoming a Scout Leader, and working with a charity 'Action for Children', before beginning the application process to become a foster carer.
After moving to a larger property, and consulting with her employer about flexible working, Pip went through the application process and was approved as a Liverpool foster carer in Feb 2020.
The initial plan was for Pip to look after one child on a respite ‘part time’ basis, but at the beginning of lockdown, Pip's working hours became more flexible meaning she could consider different types of fostering, including looking after siblings.
When the fostering team spoke to Pip about possibly looking after one of three siblings, Pip suggested “why don’t we see how I go looking after all three?!" Pip reflected; “The thought of them separately going to live with strangers, especially during lockdown was just so sad".
Being a newly approved, single foster carer, with three siblings (aged 12, 10 and 7) is not easy, but Pip and the children have bonded really well during lockdown, and quickly formed a strong new family unit.
“Adding lockdown into the mix made things even harder because we were all together, all of the time, and at the beginning we were trying to find a routine that worked for us all”
“But, before we knew it we were playing games, doing science experiments with exploding bottles of coke, and making lava lamps using baby oil!”
It’s been absolutely brilliant, as I always wanted to look after sibling groups on long term care and my change of circumstances due to lockdown has just sped up that process
Pip, Foster Carer
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