Sonya and David, fostering siblings
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, one of our foster carers, Sonya from the East of England, hopes she can encourage more people to think about fostering siblings together to protect their bonds.
Sonya, a former receptionist, and her husband David, a postman, started fostering three years ago when Sonya left her job at a leisure centre to become a full-time foster carer. Sonya was initially inspired to foster because her own mother was in care from the age of five. When their eldest daughter left home and they had a spare room, the couple felt it was the right time to take in vulnerable children and young people.
A report by the BBC’s ‘File on 4’ which questioned more than 200 UK local authorities in 2020 revealed that more than half of children and young people in care live separately from their brothers and sisters. The reality for siblings in care would be especially bleak if not for families like Sonya and David, who chose to open their home to brothers and sisters in need.
Speaking about their decision to foster, Sonya said: “We are one big family, my own children and my current foster children all get along so well. Through my own children, I have seen just how important the relationships between siblings are. This is true especially for those who have been taken into care – their siblings are their one constant and all too often they have to be separated as foster carers cannot accommodate them together. We had the space to take in sibling groups and I’m so glad we did. We’ve given them space where they can play with one another and just be children.”
For more information on foster care, contact Five Rivers Child Care on 03452 660 272 or www.five-rivers.org.