Isabelle is 18 and has been a foster sibling to many babies and children in care over the past ten years at their Reading home. 

Georgia and Sam, Isabelle’s parents, decided they wanted to take up fostering when she was eight and her brothers were 11 and 13. They spoke about how fostering would work for them as a family and started off looking after children under five years old. 

Georgia and Sam then agreed they would always try to have children within five years of Isabelle’s age. ‘She was always a very hands on sibling, even back then!,’ they laughed.

So, what was it actually like growing up as a foster sister? Isabelle was happy to explain. ‘We have always loved looking after the children and we make sure we take them on nice days out and set up different activities. I have liked everything about fostering and we work well as a family to help care for the children.’

Brighter Futures for Children runs a fun group for foster siblings called the ‘Foster Squad’ and Isabelle and her two brothers have joined in with their activities. Her parents are active members of Reading Carers’ Link, a support group for Reading’s foster carers, and so they are family friends with the children of lots of other carers too. 

Isabelle’s family does short-term, respite and emergency fostering. What was that like as a sibling? ‘We hope they will always feel like part of our family for the duration of their stay and I think this is important,’ Isabelle explained, ‘and we are still in touch with lots of them!’.

Has being a foster sibling influenced Isabelle in her life? It certainly seems so! She says: ‘Fostering gave me lots of skills and experience with children and made me want to work with them. I am now training to be an early years practitioner at a local nursery. I enjoy fostering and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new children over the years and making a difference to their lives.’