For many of us, our relationships with our brothers and sisters have been an integral part of growing up. Siblings have a unique place in our lives. They’re our friends, our confidants, our rivals, and ultimately, the family connection we carry forward with us. The relationship with our siblings is often the longest one we ever have.
For foster kids who have brothers and sisters in the system, the lack of foster families willing to care for sibling groups means these integral relationships can disappear. Their siblings are often the only constant presence in their lives, with older siblings taking on the role of parent and protector. When siblings are split up, that connection can be severed. The trauma of being removed from their parents is compounded by losing their entire family.
Keeping siblings together in the foster care system benefits the children and the foster families. Brothers and sisters who are placed together feel more secure and are able to help each other adjust to their new family and surroundings. Because of this existing relationship, there are fewer failed placements and fewer moves between foster homes.
Stability is at the heart of everything foster kids crave. By welcoming siblings into your home, you’ve already helped alleviate a major issue – they already know somebody. Getting used to new surroundings in your home is made much easier by already having someone familiar with them.
Siblings can also be a source of support for the entire foster family. Since every child has a different reaction to being placed in new surroundings, siblings may be able to find ways to help their brothers or sisters adjust more easily.
If you’re considering fostering siblings, it’s important to know that there are also larger sibling groups in desperate need of homes. If your family’s intention was to foster a single child, considering a larger sibling group might require some discussion. Aspiranet provides ongoing support throughout the foster care process, and we’re happy to talk to you anytime about the benefits of fostering a sibling group.
Fostering siblings is one of the greatest needs we have in foster care. Almost two-thirds of children in foster care have a sibling who is also in care. We urgently need your help. Aspiranet provides services to help support you. Get in touch with us at 877.380.4376, or visit us online at https://www.aspiranet.org/foster-adopt.