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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

22 NOV 2010

More needs to be done to keep siblings together in care

ChildrenLocal authorities need to do more to ensure that siblings who are taken into care are able to live together, and where they cannot that they are helped to stay in contact, according to the Fostering Network.

With a shortage of 10,000 foster families across the UK, fostering services are struggling to find homes for groups of siblings. Three-quarters of children now in care with siblings are separated from each other when they go into care.

Where siblings are separated, the charity is calling on the foster carers to help them to meet up and to stay in touch via other forms of contact such as social media websites.

Raina Sheridan, deputy chief executive of the Fostering Network, said it's vital that fostering services appreciate that for many children in care, the relationship with their siblings is the most important one they have.

"Fostering services are under immense pressure from the rise in numbers of children coming into care since the news of Peter Connelly's death, as well as the impact of spending cuts. However, they must make it a priority to recruit and support more foster carers who can look after sibling groups, and work to keep brothers and sisters in care together wherever possible."

The Fostering Network will be hosting a public screening today of Some Dogs Bite, a film about the separation of siblings in care. The film is being shown at the Fostering Network's On the Edge event in London.

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