24 March 2010

Foster carers who are prepared to foster sibling groups are needed by Northamptonshire County Council.

The county council needs 10 foster carers who have the space in their home to offer brothers and sisters a home.

Often, brothers and sisters in care have to be separated from each other due to the shortage of foster carers who can offer more than one child a permanent home.

However it is important to keep siblings together if possible, particularly if the children are very young, in order to give them a stable environment in which to grow up.

Cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Andrew Grant said: “It is hard enough to be separated from your parents but to be separated from your siblings as well is devastating, particularly to young children.

“Relationships with brothers and sisters are probably going to be the longest relationships we have in our lives and are therefore extremely important. The benefits of siblings staying together far outweigh them being separated.

“We are always looking for homes to enable sibling groups to be kept together as we know that separating them can often have lasting damaging effects.”

As well as knowing they are giving a child or young person a loving and stable home, foster carers now receive a payment for each child they look after, on top of their basic allowance for each child.*

Someone looking after two children under the age of 10 and are a new foster carer can earn £21,081.

If you would like to know more about fostering please call 0300 126 10009 or email a&f@northamptonshire.gov.uk or visit our Adoption and Fostering pages.

The county council is also holding an open evening where people can find out more about fostering. The next one will be Wednesday 21st April, 7:00pm-9:00pm, Britannia House, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN4 7YB.

Additional information

*Foster carers will continue to be paid for each child they look after. However under the new system, they will now receive an increased payment for each child depending on the professional skills level they are on. In the past they were given a one-off payment for their professional skills level regardless of how many children they were caring for.

Foster carers also receive grants each year for the children and young people’s birthdays, holidays and Christmas. The level of payment for this has been increased.

These aspects all combine to give the yearly payment.