As part of an ongoing campaign Cumbria County Council is trying to find more foster carers in Eden who can offer long-term homes to siblings and help them stay together.
The council currently supports 22 fostering households in Eden but needs more to come forward this year, in order to offer a safe, secure and loving home to some of the county’s most vulnerable children.
There is a need for all types of carers in the region, but especially for foster cares who can offer a permanent home to sibling groups. At the moment there are 22 brothers and sisters across the county waiting for long term foster placements together.
Without more foster carers coming forward during 2019 some children may find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends or being split up from brothers and sisters.
Eden carer Rosemary Glassbrook has fostered for Cumbria County Council for nearly two decades, caring for around 30 children in that time. She is currently looking after a sibling group of two and would recommend other carers to think about offering a home to brothers and sisters.
She said: “I used to be a nanny and just felt we could offer a child a better life and offer support to vulnerable children.
“The very first children who were placed with us, were siblings. We started caring for them short-term and ended up having the children long-term. They are grown up now and we’re still in touch with them.
“Fostering siblings is great because they can support each other, as they know where they have come from and what they’ve experienced, whereas for us it can be like piecing together a jigsaw when the children first come to us.
“Siblings understand each other and can speak for each other and help us understand the needs of their brothers and sisters.
“We’ve really enjoyed it and I would encourage anyone interested in fostering to consider caring long-term for a sibling group, as the rewards are immense.”
Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Foster carers can make a huge difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Cumbria, none more so than those who can help keep siblings together.
“The bond between brothers and sisters is so strong and so unique and that is why it is incredibly important to us to try and keep siblings together.
“If you have room at home and in your life to foster, we would love to hear from you and I would also urge you to attend an upcoming information event in your area to find out more.”
If you think you have what it takes please come along to our upcoming information event in Penrith and speak to our friendly team and foster carers:
Saturday 23 February – George Hotel, Penrith – Tea and coffee from 2pm, presentation starts 2.30pm
If you can’t make this event go to www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216 to find out more.