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.

Hannah and Craig have been fostering since 2021. She explained: “We initially fostered only single children but then we were asked to consider two children who were arriving in an emergency. We only have one spare bedroom, but the need was so great that the children could share to keep them together.”

Hannah has advice for those who are worried about having more than one child. She explained: “I think siblings sound harder than the reality. I know I'd want to live with my sister or brother no matter what, if I had been placed in care. Moving on your own as a child to live with absolute strangers is intense and having your brother or sister with you as this happens is positive. There is always training on offer. The children have their own social worker, and we have our own fostering social worker, so we have someone we can always call and talk to and get advice from and email.”

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. I can understand there may be concerns about how siblings would work for you as a foster carer, but 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 are 8 February from 6pm – 7pm and Wednesday 14 February from 12 noon to 1pm. To join please visit fostering.wiltshire.gov.uk and look for 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.