National Siblings Day: Doncaster couple share 'special moment' after fostering brothers

Doncaster fostering agency Fosterplus is urging more people to help give siblings in care a brighter future, this National Siblings Day.

By Jack O'Connor
Friday, 8th April 2022, 12:25 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 12:26 am
Doncaster couple Andy and Lisa have shared their experience of adopting brothers to ensure they were not separated (pic: Fosterplus)
Doncaster couple Andy and Lisa have shared their experience of adopting brothers to ensure they were not separated (pic: Fosterplus)

With over a third of children across England being placed at least 20 miles from their home base, reports have revealed that not only are children separated from friends and family but one in six siblings were placed in separate homes, contrary to their care plan.

Doncaster-based couple Lisa and Andy began their fostering journey back in May 2020. In October 2020 the couple were approved at panel and shortly after welcomed two brothers into their home.

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Speaking ahead of National Siblings Day, which falls on April 10, Andy explained how, at first, the brothers had a challenging relationship.

"When they first came, they didn’t have much of a brotherly bond, but we have been teaching the boys to recognise that they are brothers and to look after each other,” he said.

“One of the most special moments so far in our journey was when we went to the park and the older brother helped his younger brother with the zip line. He ran it up to the platform, lifted his little brother up and let him have a go.

"They were both smiling and laughing! It’s the small differences like this that really warm your heart. It was a lovely moment to watch.

“There are good days and bad days of course, that is fostering, but it’s building that relationship between the brothers that we just love to see.

“We think the reason that they have developed so quickly into more relaxed, happy children in only two months is down to the consistency and boundaries that we have implemented into their lives. They’re now two caring, happy, young boys.”

Jenny Huggins, registered manager for Fosterplus, said: “At Fosterplus, we appreciate all our wonderful foster parents and today we wanted to pay special attention to those who have been able to take on two or more siblings at once.”

“Welcoming a child can be challenging, especially if parents are welcoming a sibling group of three or four.

“We know first-hand the outstanding benefits of keeping siblings together and there’s never been a better time for individuals and families to provide new beginnings for many children, who desperately need a loving and safe environment.”

Andy and Lisa believe it is the support they have received from Fosterplus that has been the difference.

“Our supervising social worker is fantastic, from the beginning, she asked us to outline what our rules, boundaries and expectations are for the children, so they would know right from the start what was expected of them,” they said.

“The entire team at Fosterplus have been so supportive. There’s always someone available to help us where needed and for that we are so thankful.”

For those looking to begin their fostering journey, the couple said: “Make sure you go with the right fostering agency for you, like we did, because we are so very lucky to have the support that we do from Fosterplus. Be prepared for the lifestyle change and be patient. Patience is key.”