What Happens when Foster Care Separates Siblings
What happens when foster care separates siblings? The bond between siblings is unmatched. While they may pick on each other and poke fun, at the end of the day one of the most valuable relationships a person can have is with their siblings. Think about your siblings growing up, you might not have always gotten along, but you have a lifelong bond and a million memories. Foster children deserve that same experience but up to 70% are put into placements away from their brothers and sisters.
Siblings in Care
Approximately two-thirds of children in foster care also have a sibling in care. Sadly, nearly half are separated from at least one sibling.
In cases such as adoption or other forms of permanent care, the separation of siblings may be permanent, meaning a child can lose their best friend and only biological family member.
Rosie is a bright, bubbly 14-year-old girl preparing to start her freshman year of high school. Rosie also resides in foster care, where she has spent half of her life. She wants to be a part of a family more than anything else in the world. When she entered foster care, she was with her three older siblings and her younger brother. She had a support system of people she knew and loved. As time went on her three older siblings aged out of care and her younger brother was adopted, leaving Rosie all by herself.
Family means I have someone to support me, I have support in my home and I can talk to someone when I need it. I am loved and cared for instead of me having to take care of myself and being independent.
Rosie had a family, even after entering the system. But because of matter out of any of their control, she is left alone. Due to strict requirements, Rosie’s older siblings are unable to adopt her. To complicate things further, her little brother’s adoptive family might not allow her to contact him until he is 18. Rosie is losing years of memories with her siblings.
I’ve been in the system since I was 7 years old, so all my siblings were with me when I first came. But my three older siblings aged out and my younger brother got adopted. I’m the only one left, so it’s kind of hard.
In Conclusion- The Sadness Behind How Foster Care Separates Siblings
Rosie is just one of the thousands of foster children that are in the same situation. Sibling separation is a sad reality of foster care. Which is why foster parents who are willing to take in entire sibling groups are so important.
If you’re interested in supporting sibling sets separated in foster care, visit the Together We Rise site at www.togetherwerise.org.