Action For Children has found that one third of all children taken into foster care in the UK are being split from their siblings. The figure is much higher in other areas, such as 45% in the East Midlands and 54% of siblings being split in Bridgend over the last financial year.
The charity says that splitting siblings can greatly increase the sense of loss being felt by the child. Children who are already going through a very difficult time, being displaced from their family and friends find it much harder when separated from brothers and sisters.
Siblings that go into foster care together will regularly support each other and take comfort in being together. Siblings who are split often experience poor performance in school, do not settle into foster placements and are more likely to have further problems continuing into adulthood.
The main reason for these high numbers is the lack of available carers for sibling groups. Sibling groups can also be split if a child has gone through a particularly troubling time and needs one-on-one assistance. There are calls for local governments to do more to cater for children being taken into care and to try to keep siblings together.