In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Epworth received a call about a large sibling group that needed a safe space immediately. The sibling group was too large be accommodated by one foster family and it was in the best interest of the children for as many of them to stay together as possible. Leaving the only home one has ever known is scary and having your siblings close by can help tremendously to ease that transition. Epworth was more than happy to step in and take the group! One infant sibling was able to be placed with an Epworth foster family and the other nine children were place in our residential program.
Cottage staff was creative and worked tirelessly to provide a caring, fun, and age-appropriate care for each child in this sibling group. Toys were quickly shopped for, pajamas provided, and comforters with fun characters and favorite colors covered the beds. Staff brought out their favorite bedtime stories to read to the little ones and pulled out their best character voices. Cottage movie nights commenced with popcorn, candy, and comfy socks. Giggles and dolls covered the rooms and staff played more games of Candy Land, UNO and Monopoly than they had in years. The siblings made new friends and bonded with cottage mates of their own age. The children adjusted quickly and treated campus as if they had always been here.
Throughout the children’s stay, Epworth was able to keep the siblings together, and the infant that was placed in the Epworth foster home came to visit often, keeping the siblings in each other’s lives as much as possible. After a while, the siblings were able to be reunified with their family and Epworth was thankful to be a safe, loving, caring environment for the children to have while they were away from their parents. During their stay at Epworth, they were able to strengthen their family bond and return home without missing a beat and are home for Christmas with their whole family. Even though the children had left Epworth by Christmas time, Epworth was still able to deliver a few special Christmas presents to the family, which the parents were deeply grateful for.