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www.havering.gov.uk/living  |  SEPTEMBER2017  |  11

Helping brothers and sisters stay together Havering Council currently has 259 children living in care and nearly half of these children are made up of siblings. This varies from a brother and sister to over five siblings all living in care at the same time. Sadly, it’s a real struggle for the Council to find foster carers who can support brothers and sisters together. Sharon, 53 and Steve, 54 are Havering foster carers who have looked after nine children including sibling groups already, since becoming foster carers only 18 months ago. Living in Havering spoke to Sharon.

Could you care?

“My husband and I had discussed fostering for years, we knew other carers and saw directly what a positive impact they had on the lives of the young children living in their home” said Sharon. “We waited until our children were independent and had their own lives, however, it was a decision that we discussed openly with all family including our grandchildren. We wanted everybody to be involved. My daughter and my daughter-in-law are registered support carers. Both help with child care when we attend training and social care meetings. My grandchildren have been amazing and are a huge help when new children join our home, they help to settle them so quickly. “I actually think that fostering siblings is easier, the children are a natural support to each other. If one child is nervous, then their sister or brother will help them. Sadly, children who have come to live in our home, may previously not have had many possessions. I always take them out shopping so they can choose their own things. Especially letting them select their own toothpaste, toiletries and favourite foods as brothers don’t usually want what their sisters use! “I love fostering, I never knew it would personally be so rewarding. Watching a child blossom whilst in your care, is incredible. Children may have their own issues and hurdles, but by fostering you really can help them with so many barriers. “Since I became a foster carer, I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received from other Havering foster carers. They are always on hand to help.” To find out how you can support children living in care, come along to one of the information evenings held on the first Thursday of every month at 6pm, at Havering Town Hall, Romford.

i

www.havering.gov.uk/fostering

Sharon and Steve

•T  he Council is also recruiting enhanced foster carers to support children aged 11 - 17 with complex needs. If you have experience of work in the education, health, youth offending, justice, fostering or social care sectors and wish to transfer your skill set, apply today and you could receive up to £750 per week.

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Profile for Havering Council

Living in Havering 178 September 2017  

Living in Havering is a free community magazine published by Havering Council and delivered to 106,000 residents, businesses and outlets acr...

Living in Havering 178 September 2017  

Living in Havering is a free community magazine published by Havering Council and delivered to 106,000 residents, businesses and outlets acr...