Being a foster sibling is a full-time commitment.
As the housing shortage forces more children to go into fewer homes, foster siblings are called on to lessen the strain on parents.
In many homes, fostering is a family affair, with biological siblings working alongside their parents to take care of household duties to make sure the home stays operational.
“I help get up with the kids at around 6:30,” said Grace Carter, a college student who has been a foster sibling for twelve years. “I help get them dressed, help get breakfast made then I go get ready for work.”
Grace describes the family effort as “all hands on board,” especially once the kids get home. With dinner, baths, and bed for the multiple foster children in the home as well as her 12-year old brother, Carter says nights can be stressful.
“The most challenging part of being a foster sister is that it is 24/7. In Arkansas we don’t have much respite, there is not much of a break.”
For Carter, what makes the work worthwhile is seeing the improvements made by the children in care as well as the perspective it has given her. “It makes me thankful for the love I get and the care.”
Carter and her brother Cameron were featured in an audio story about living as a foster sibling. Follow the link to view the audio slideshow.