Wiltshire Council is keen to recruit more foster carers who can welcome two or more children into their home to help brothers and sisters remain together.

The council is fortunate to have several foster carers who provide a warm and welcoming home to more than one child, and they would like more to come forward – with plenty of training and support available as they take on this important role.

Selina and Justin have been fostering with Wiltshire Council for seven years and have looked after single children and brothers and sisters.

Selina explained: “I had a fantastic childhood and thought it would be really nice to give something back with the experience I had. Our children had recently moved out and we had spare rooms so we thought we would try fostering. I made a call and went to one of the information evenings and we got lots of information.”

The information evening was in January and by August, the couple welcomed their first foster child. Since then, they haven’t looked back. They currently care for two siblings and can see the difference having a family member with them can make to a foster child.

Selina said: “It’s lovely for them because they have each other and still have that family connection. They can comfort each other at times. I would say you have to remember although they come as a pair, they are also individual people. They have their own personalities. It’s lovely they have each other as it’s like they are still living in a family as there are the two of them and us because they are living in a family. It’s great to see them doing things together. They have each other and although they’ve been put into care away from their families, they also have a family member with them.

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And Selina has this advice for people considering fostering:

“Just get on and do it. Siblings have each other and they have the same experience, and they get each other. There is always somebody there for them to play with. We’ve had single children and siblings and for us we prefer having siblings.”

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We always need more foster carers to come and foster with us here at Wiltshire Council. We provide you with ongoing support and training so you’re not alone. We have carers who have taken that step and recount positive experiences which show how rewarding it can be.

“Fostering with your local council means all money goes into fostering. We make sure you have good support and training and our payments to our foster carers reflect the importance we place on this role. We would love people who want to know more to come and talk to us without any obligation.”

People interested in fostering can join one of the online sessions which are held regularly. Upcoming dates can be found here https://fostering.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering-events

Foster carers need to be aged 21 and over, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and a willingness seek to understand young people who have experienced trauma and loss. Fostering payments are from £380 to £710 a week, per child depending on skills and experience. 

For more information on fostering visit Fostering Home - Fostering with Wiltshire Council email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk, call 0800 169 6321 or text the word Foster to 60002.

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