Imagine being told you could no longer live with your brother or sister…
Those who have experienced it first-hand have told Newsbeat it left them feeling “empty and alone”.
Scott King, 25, was put into care with his older brother when he was six months old and says he has stayed in about 36 foster placements, though he cannot be certain of the number.
“My brother was my whole family encompassed into one person,” he explained. “I felt safe when he was there. I didn’t trust adults because every adult that came into my life had let me down.”
When Scott was eight, he and his older brother were split up.
“One day I got home and I went out to the rope swing where my brother used to sit every day after school and he wasn’t there. I asked where he was and I was told he had gone to a children’s home and that he wasn’t coming back,” said Scott.
That was the last time Scott and his brother would live under the same roof.
“We used to have fights and not really get on,” he admitted. “But at the same time he was my only family. I looked up to him and I needed him.
“When he left, I felt quite alone and like there was no one there to look after me. I felt like someone had stolen my brother.”
Action for Children says separating siblings can have a long-term impact on their emotional and mental health and that it can also act as a pathway to problems in school, homelessness and criminal activity as well as drug and alcohol addiction.
Chief Executive Sir Tony Hawkhead said: “It’s difficult enough for a child when they are taken into care; it’s twice as difficult if not worse still when they are taken into care and they are separated from their brothers and sisters.
A Department for Education spokesperson has told Newsbeat it is working with councils to increase the number of foster carers in England and has invested money to try out new ways to recruit them.
The latest figures show there has been an annual 9% increase.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer can call Fosterline, a free confidential service offering a range of advice and support.
We need to raise awareness for the need of more foster carers and the requirement for more foster carers being able to find homes for sibling groups.
Even if you are unable to consider foster care yourself, you can help by sharing this message on your facebook and twitter, download our poster and display it in your work place, local coffee shop, dentist, GP in fact anywhere just as long as you have the owner’s permission.
Please help to direct those thinking of fostering to Fosterline for free confidential advice and support in all aspects of foster care- our looked after children deserve the same opportunities as their peers.
Information taken from BBC Newsbeat Read More