Sibling Connections in Foster Care

Being a youth in foster care is hard, going through it feeling alone is hard; knowing you have a sibling going through the same experience and not knowing where they are is harder. There needs to be a push for siblings to stay together living together. Youth enter foster care and sometimes never see their brothers and or sisters ever again; this can make you feel alone, afraid, worried and lost. Some youth with severe behavioral issues stems from not being able to connect with the siblings. I know that was my problem. My twin brother and I were not able to live together but we were able to have the same social worker (which depending on the state is weird) I remember not hearing from him for months at a time, and when we finally were able to connect we’d cry and then fight. It seemed as though we knew one another but we were still strangers. Although we had visits and sibling days, we still didn’t known one another. It wasn’t until our 18th birthday we are able to speak about what it felt growing up and apart from each other. We are 23 and I still don’t know his morning routine or his evening one. Things people take for granted, I wish I knew. One good thing my grandma did was really making social workers understand that we are twins and our bond is strong. We were lucky. It’s not true for everyone.

There needs to be a commitment allowing siblings to stay together. We need more foster homes that allowed siblings to live together. We need to keep them in the same schools, try to keep their environment as stable and similar as possible. There needs to be a policy and a mission to protect youth and their siblings to say “siblings first.” Its not enough to have a mission statement about keep families together we need to make it an action.

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