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Ben and Jess keep sibling bond strong

SIBLING SUPPORT: Limestone Coast foster carers Ben and Jess have welcomed five siblings aged between two and nine into their care, providing a safe home and positive relationships.
SIBLING SUPPORT: Limestone Coast foster carers Ben and Jess have welcomed five siblings aged between two and nine into their care, providing a safe home and positive relationships.

KEEPING a group of five siblings together under one roof has been an extremely rewarding experience for foster carers Ben and Jess.

The couple, aged in their 30s, from the Limestone Coast, have been foster carers with ac.care for seven years, caring for 25 children across respite, emergency, short and long-term care.

They now have a sibling group of five children aged between two and nine in their long-term care as well as a baby in short term care.

“We started with respite and soon after we were asked to take two toddler sisters as an emergency placement,” Jess says.

“Four weeks later they had a brother born and we happily took him home to keep the three together.

“Over the next few years they had two more sisters born, each adding joy to our little family.

“It has been very rewarding to know that we have been able to keep the family together.

“They have such a close bond and growing up together means they have the opportunity to support each other through life and are sharing experiences and memories in childhood.”

Ben and Jess shared their story as part of a 2020 Department for Child Protection #FosterCareSA social media campaign to bring greater awareness to the need for more foster carers – particularly for sibling groups – in South Australia.

Jess says being a foster carer was something she always wanted to do, even as a child.

“By the time I was in my 20s and had met Ben we made the choice together to start our foster care journey,” she says.

“Fostering allows you to give back to your community and make a difference in a little person’s future and then, in turn, future generations.”

Jess also featured on the ABC Adelaide Afternoons program with Sonya Feldhoff to highlight the need for more carers.

You can hear the interview via the video link below.

For more information on how you could join our network of foster carers and support a vulnerable young person in need of a safe home and positive relationships, visit www.accare.org.au/services/foster-care/

For the original version of this story and more information from the Department for Child Protection SA visit https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/children-care/become-foster-carer/new-fostercaresa-campaign-encourages-south-australians-to-foster/ben-and-jess